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What are your feelings about returning to normality and in particular, attending crowded industry events such as exhibitions and awards celebrations? I ask, because I received an email this week from Douglas Cooke, executive chairman of multi-award-winning Principle Cleaning Services, director of the Cleaning & Support Services Association and past chairman of the British Cleaning Council, voicing what I'd been thinking myself: Isn't it a little too early to be gathering together this year, when it's not actually crucial that we do so?
As you may be aware, John and I also produce an e-zine for the kitchens, bathrooms & bedroom sector. Just days before lockdown, KBB 2020 held its biennial exhibition at the NEC. It's huge; it's glamorous and like our cleaning industry events, it's great fun. Suffering from what may well have been, in the big scheme of things, mild Covid-19 symptoms, much as I didn't want to miss the show, I decided not to attend. Ditto the Golden Service Awards which took place the same week. There was simply too much at stake. Yes on top of feeling incredibly unwell I was thoroughly miserable at missing out, but having seen how the pandemic has rampaged through humankind, I'm grateful to have made the decision I did, since I can safely say I've not been responsible for someone else's demise.
Back then we didn't know that some folk could be asymptomatic and although I realise how much the cleaning industry relies on the income and publicity these events bring in, along with the lucrative relationship-building and chance to catch up with old friends who've become like family over the years, I have to say that I agree with Doug's sentiments on this one.
So, although I'm probably risking some long-term relationships here, I'm asking the question: Should it be business as usual Autumn-ish 2020 or should we reschede for 2021? And in true 'hold the back page style' I've delayed broadcast to incorporate breaking news. Well done Interclean - I love what you're doing!
After you've read Doug's Soapbox comment, do read the Public Toilet Forum pieces from Paul Wonnacott and Gavin Cunningham and give those some thought too. They offer great ideas and by discussing these and coming up with a plan that could be adopted just about anywhere, we'll be doing our own bit - if we haven't already - to ensure that people using away from home toilet facilities can do so comfortably and safely for years to come.
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9th July 2020