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My father told me many years ago that while my positivity was my greatest asset, it could sometimes be my biggest downfall. I hope I'm not going to cause upset here, but I've been thinking about the good that's come out of the pandemic - perhaps to help counter the doom and gloom, as well as the sheer misery some of us have suffered. I've written before about how lovely it's been - as someone living between two major airports, not to have planes constantly circling overhead, that the benefits of working from home have been enjoyed by those who found their previous commutes exhausting, and how people started helping one another, either via social media or charities, to ensure that everyone – particularly the vulnerable living alone, had everything they needed.
Also on the positive side, cleaning became recognised as a crucial service, with the general public finally realising that cleaners actually have something important to offer! Some contractors fared better than others during lockdown… ‘Work from home’ mandates changed cleaning contracts and schedules. Many businesses closed, meaning contracts were lost for good, while others had different needs that their contractors worked hard to fulfil. Manufacturers and janitorial suppliers were suddenly asked for different products and equipment and had to produce these with limited staff and an unreliable supply chain. I don’t think we did a bad job under the circumstances, do you?
Now, throughout a fair bit of the developed world, vaccine mandates are being brought in and although the focus in the UK has been on carers and hospital nursing teams and doctors, who have been told, “no jab, no job” I’ve known all along that those whose role it is to clean our care homes, medical centres and hospitals will also come under that mandate. Our industry is already crying out for people willing to become cleaners, yet, potentially, huge numbers may be about to leave their jobs because they won’t accept, or can’t physically commit to, a regime of ongoing vaccines. I wonder whether the downing of tools by those who’ve successfully kept our public spaces Covid-safe for us for coming up to two years now, will reiterate, (but from a different side of the coin) just how crucial they are to our wellbeing? Worrying times ahead for us, I feel…
With the festive season upon us, this is our last broadcast until 6th January 2022. I hope you have everything you need and that you can enjoy time with your loved ones.
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16th December 2021