If you drive it, they will come

Published August 30, 2020

Food truck black and white

I feel like I coped/am coping quite well with lockdown, it’s not a huge chore for me to stay tucked up inside and working from home has been an absolute winner. I’m very lucky. What I have struggled with is the never-ending bombardment of bad, frustrating, idiotic news.

After a few weeks of it, I gave up with the outside world and instead threw myself into the aforementioned work, and of course, into culture. It hasn’t escaped my attention that my so-called blog has actually been nothing but a collection of film and music reviews for the past couple of months.

But there’s only so long you can bury your head in the sand, and I’ve finally started peeking at news websites and actually reading my Twitter account rather than just opening the app and pretty quickly closing it again.

This week seems to be all about the government urging people back to city centres and the home-workers saying ‘actually, we’re alright thanks, there’s a virus out there and we’re saving lots of money doing it this way.’ I’m firmly in that camp. Not everyone can work from home, I know, but surely it makes sense for those that can to keep doing it for now?

The argument from those in power is based around the ghost towns that city centres have become, and that coffee shops, lunch destinations and other staple stores are rapidly starting to struggle. What I don’t understand is that if Boris and his team really cared about the businesses, or indeed, the people, he would work with the former to serve the new lifestyles of the latter. Nothing is certain except change, right?

For example, if people aren’t coming to the high street to get their coffee and tuna baguette every day, why can’t we bring the carbohydrates to them? Why not round up all those food vans that haven’t been able to do good business at Wimbledon and Glastonbury and other such festivals this year and get them circling the streets with caffeine to go. Give the homeworkers sustenance other than tea and biscuits. Put some ice cream style chimes on if you must. I would definitely be interested if a delicious, warm, ready-to-go toasted sandwich turned up on my street.

The answer is, of course, that it’s not about the sandwich shops or the coffee establishments, there are deeper and less scrupulous concerns from the rich people in charge. It’s so frustrating when there is the capacity and need for change but instead people end up digging their heels in and trying to retain the status quo.

But maybe we don’t need them, maybe we can just do it ourselves. Who’s got a food truck going spare? I can whip up a mean BLT.

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