The bullet is through the church in Austria. Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg announced a full lockdown for people without vaccinations tonight (The Financial Times, 3.3). This weekend, the number of infections rose to more than 13,000 a day, in a population of just under 9 million people. The biggest problem is that the vaccination rate is only 65%. Austria is the first country to introduce such far-reaching measures for unvaccinated people. From Monday they are only allowed to leave the house for necessary activities, such as shopping or visiting a doctor.
Fascinating graphics from @jburnmurdoch. The higher the vaccination coverage, the more ‘decoupled’ the increase in cases (green) compared to deaths (red) and hospitalizations (orange/blue).
Yet another proof of how well vaccines work! pic.twitter.com/gByc7afuoy
— Maarten Keulemans (@mkeulemans) November 12, 2021
Fine Dining protests by letter
In the Netherlands, the disappointment about the limited lockdown – the catering industry has to close at 20.00 – can be heard everywhere. Apart from a number of incidents (AD, 1.7) the vast majority of catering entrepreneurs are resigned to the new situation. Then wash the dishes yourself, says Jacques Westerhoff of brasserie Grace in Utrecht (Fidelity, 1.2). To save costs, he keeps the occupation to a minimum. “We now do everything for which you actually have auxiliary staff.”
There is one group that does protest – but in a civilized way. The four major fine dining alliances Alliance Gastronomique, JRE Nederland, Les Patrons Cuisiniers and the Fine Eastern Restaurants have written a letter of protest (MissetHoreca, 1.1) by the mandatory closing time of 8 p.m. “Politicians have no idea what is going on in our fine dining restaurants,” they wrote to the cabinet. “Never before have we climbed the barricades in the past 20 months. Putting up a big mouth does not suit us. With this letter we want to demonstrate that we work super safe. We offer an evening-filling program, with a fixed seat and with more than enough guests go home after an eight or twelve course dinner with us. But they don’t do that if they are outside at 8 p.m..”
The fine-dining organizations feel that they are lumped together with the total catering industry, which is said to be responsible for 2.9% of all infections, while serving only a fraction of the customers. “We don’t want to compete with our colleagues in other segments of the catering industry, but we do get the hardest blows. Because our dinner experience only starts at 8 pm.” The letter ends with a cry for help: “Our life’s work and our national gastronomic heritage are once again threatened by measures that, in our view, lack every nuance.” The letter received widespread acclaim on social media.
‘The kowa and the lawa are here to stay
The corona pandemic has spawned at least one new healthy habit, writes the NRC (3.1). Walking has wrested itself out of its boring image in the corona time. So much so that there are hip afkos for the block (de each, short walk) and an afternoon stroll (de beautifulyes, the long walk). Erik Scherder, professor of neuropsychology at the Free University in Amsterdam, who launched the Ommetje app around the start, is happy with it. Even though the app was developed with a completely different pandemic in mind: “we had a pandemic long before that, that of a lack of physical activity,” says Scherder. In other words: we sit way too much, “and corona was in that. In that respect, an unwelcome surprise: we were suddenly even more often on the couch and were forced to sit at home behind a desk.”
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Fine dining angry: we only start when the catering industry has to close – ‘Kowa’ and ‘lawa’ can no longer be ignored – Foodlog