Peter Rhodes on scoffing, solstices and who are the hard-working people?
It emerged at the Covid inquiry this week that the Government's well-intentioned initiative, Eat Out To Help Out, was launched without consulting the scientists and may have contributed to the death toll by encouraging people to spend hours in crowded restaurants. Hindsight? Not entirely.
Leaving aside the infection risks from mingling with strangers, what about the more obvious danger of people pigging out on subsidised meals? In August 2020 when the Eat Out scheme was going strong, I noted in this column: “Some punters are booking two or three meals a day, some insist on paying after each course to claim maximum refunds and some are abusing the staff when service is slow. There seems to be a golden rule of human behaviour: the bigger the bargain, the worse the rabble.”
At the time, doctors were already warning that being overweight not only increased your risk of death from Covid-19 by a shocking 50 per cent but might also reduce the effectiveness of any vaccine. Yet still the face-stuffing went on.