I’ll be out again clapping for carers at 8pm tonight. There’s been a great response in our street since the Thursday clap started. As well as clapping, there’s some cheering, whooping plus the more demonstrative wield pots, pans and other kitchen utensils and there’s even the odd firework to add to the din.
It’s become an important part of recent weeks – makes me feel emotional just to think about – as well as honouring care workers, it’s also proving a good way to reconnect with and, indeed, get to know some of our near neighbours from a safe distance, of course.
Where would we all be without the doctors, nurses, carers, cleaners and indeed all the other key workers including those that work in retail, transport, IT, utilities that we all rely on.
As we start to see other countries emerge out of lockdown I’ve also started to think about the other workers that make a real difference to my life, the people you only really miss when they’re gone.
I’m thinking of those who work in sectors such as hospitality including a number of my family members working in restaurants and pubs as cooks, waitresses and bar workers.
Many of them are now facing great uncertainty not knowing when they will go back to work or even whether their jobs will exist in future. When they do work they are often on minimum wage, working irregular unsocial hours many without paid holidays or pension contributions.
Entrepreneurs facing bankruptcy
There’s also the entrepreneurs who run these businesses some of whom will be contemplating bankruptcy if this lockdown continues into the summer. I think, in particular, of an owner-run micro-brewery I visit from time-to-time where you feel welcome the moment you step inside.
It’s the services they all deliver – so often taken for granted – that make life worth living and I, for one, can’t wait to get back to enjoying time in pubs and restaurants as soon as it’s safe to do so.
When this is all over I hope we show more appreciation to all these people who make our life fun. I’m not proposing a weekly clap but maybe an international day for hospitality workers or perhaps just a bigger smile, a friendly chat and a more generous tip wouldn’t go amiss when they all get back to work.
Sure we need hospital workers at times of crisis to keep us alive, for much of the rest of it we need hospitality workers to help us live.