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Mar 16, 2020 | News, The Tonic

March Madness

Welcome to ‘The Monthly Tonic’ for March.  

If you can keep your head when all about you   

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;   

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

From ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling

 

Strange, uncertain times for so many of us, personally and professionally. The goalposts remain but the rules keep changing. We feel these words from Rudyard Kipling’s ‘If’ provide some much needed ‘tonic’ in the current climate. (Full version further down, along with a take on a Kipling inspired cocktail).

Here at Ice & Lime HQ we are following government advice and so although we are preparing as normal for events booked for 2020 and beyond, many of our events over the coming weeks are being postponed.  We are event professionals and know that sometimes things don’t go as planned. Coronavirus was certainly not on our ‘to do’ list for 2020! However, contingency plans are part of who we are, what we do and we are committed to doing what we can to help our customers prevent the spread of this virus. We want to reassure clients that we are maintaining our usual high standards of cleanliness and hygiene, ensuring all our bars are cleaned and hygienically prepared before leaving the warehouse and on arrival and again at collection. Additionally we are advising customers to use an alcohol based cleaner on surfaces throughout their event and use the bar as a great spot for putting some hand gel and a box of tissues on as when restrictions are lifted, it is likely there will still be the need to be vigilant.

Anybody who has poured their heart and soul into an event taking place over the next few months is no doubt on an emotional rollercoaster and you are very much in our thoughts. Everyone wants to do the right thing and the best thing but sometimes working out what that is, is… well, tricky. 

We have done some research and put our thinking caps on regarding the current situation and pulled together the following thoughts. Hopefully this will give you some pointers to consider and to quote Kipling ‘keep your head’! It goes without saying keep on top of the news… from trustworthy sources. Knowledge is power!

Am I insured against coronavirus for my event?

Each policy will vary so, you will need to check through the terms. As a general rule you will have needed to take out insurance prior to the outbreak and most likely opted for an additional clause covering ‘communicable diseases’. There is some ambiguity and interpretation if you are relying on ‘force majeure’ so contact your insurer for clarification. Hopefully any ‘professional’ events will have the required level of cover and so it is often the ‘private’ events that can suffer. If you don’t have insurance you may struggle to get it now as many insurers are currently being a little hesitant while they wait to see what happens over the next few weeks and not issuing policies for the coming months. If you have insurance go through your insurance company as your policy will most likely expire the day after your event. If you postpone your booking, the company struggles financially and is no longer able to honour your booking you would lose out.

Does my wedding insurance cover coronavirus?

Again, read the policy you took out. Most wedding insurance will cover if the wedding has to be cancelled due to a member of the wedding couple or, in some cases, a close relative falling ill and being unable to attend. Usually this is as long as it is not for a pre-existing medical condition. In the case of coronavirus, if everyone was well when the insurance was taken out you should be able to claim if a key person has COVID-19. Most insurers would also cover if, due to unforeseen circumstances, it is inappropriate for the wedding to go ahead but this can be open to some interpretation so check with your insurer. The Government is currently advising against unnecessary gatherings so speak to your insurer as this is open to some ambiguity.  You may need to wait until more definitive restrictions come into force. Speak to your insurer for clarification. 

What if I don’t have insurance?

If your wedding/ event is unable to go ahead then speak to your suppliers and see if you can postpone your booking, is probably the best advice we can give. Make a list of what you have paid so that you can keep track of what you stand to lose financially if an alternative date can’t be found. That way you can easily see which suppliers you need to communicate closely with.

Should I postpone my event due to coronavirus?

At the time of writing the Government’s current advice is ‘for everyone to stop non essential contact’ and we know further restrictions will be coming into place over the coming days and may last for at least 12 weeks. If your event falls within this time frame then we all have a duty to support what the Government is asking of us. The best thing to do is to find out where you stand with your insurance company and/or suppliers so you know what the options are and keep yourself informed with the most up to date information, from a reliable source, allowing you to make a call. Over the coming weeks it is expected that cases will rise significantly, with the aim being to delay the peak of the outbreak until the Summer, so it could be around for some time. We know more stringent restrictions will be implemented but when and how these will happen is unknown. It is worth making and talking about a ‘Plan B’, especially if your event is scheduled for the coming months.

What should I do as less people can come to my wedding/ event because of  coronavirus?

If your event changes and has lower than expected numbers, then speak to your suppliers sooner rather than later as they may be able to provide services/ facilities for the lower number. If you postpone your event, again, contact your suppliers to see if they are still available for the later date. In both instances you may not lose the deposit.

Should I book with a company that is offering to refund me if I have to cancel my wedding/ event due to coronavirus? 

This may well be offered by businesses with the very best intentions but sadly the reality is that if everyone requested refunds there may not be the cash flow to honour this promise. In situations like this it is also the prime opportunity for unscrupulous individuals to deliberately set up bogus services designed to relieve you of your money. It is your responsibility to be insured for your event (your suppliers should also be insured for products and public liability.). If you haven’t booked yet, then ask your suppliers what their cancellation/ postponement policy is beforehand and if something is too good to be true then that should set alarm bells ringing!

How can I promote good hygiene at my wedding/ event without seeming neurotic/ weird? 

Most people are aware of what they need to do and we’d like to think that most of us have a pretty good track record of personal hygiene! You do have a duty to clients/ suppliers/ guests, some of whom may be in the ‘not too worried about it’ camp and others who may be very anxious. You, as the host, are there to make people feel at ease and so you may choose to openly encourage the ‘foot tap’, ‘elbow knock’ or even a bow and curtsey currently trending to minimise personal contact. However, the focus should be on providing suitable sanitation facilities; antibacterial soap in the toilets and alcohol hand gel, tissues and bins placed around the event with signage directing people so that they can manage their own level of hygiene. Avoiding cramming people into small indoor spaces will help as will the option to be outside (weather permitting!)

How can I make hand gels look good?!

Granted, hand gel doesn’t look beautiful but you may like to think about using more attractive soap dispensers and tissues in packaging or box covers to complement the look of your event and act as a gentle reminder to people. Placing some at the bar, on tables and obviously toilet facilities are good options for this.

How can I reassure people who are coming to my wedding/ event that special measures have been put in place?   

Prior to the event you may wish to highlight sensible and practical information on the hygiene practices (that we should all undertake regardless) that you have in place and send these out to people attending. Let people know what facilities you are providing and anything that you are doing to minimise the risk. Politely but firmly ask people who are unwell to stay away. Put this on your website or email attendees.  This will act as a gentle reminder and let people know that you have considered what is going on. See link to WHO here.

What can I do to limit personal contact and sharing of equipment?

Identify the hotspots where this could be an issue at your event. We recently exhibited a small bar at a wedding showcase and tried to think about alternative ways to display images of our bars that would normally be in an electronic ‘Lookbook’. Instead we displayed photos on a board and in photo frames limiting the amount of touch points. Having some anti-bac hand sanitizer/ wipes to hand to use on shared equipment such as touch screens, pens etc. for people to use and ensure facilities/ venues/ equipment are cleaned and sanitised before, throughout and after the event.

What do I do if someone shows signs of COVID-19 at my wedding/ event?  

For any professionally run events the procedure should be taken care of in their risk assessment/ management plan. For private events this is often something that gets neglected. It’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with symptoms (click here for the NHS advice) to be aware of and get that person to follow the current advice (click here for NHS 111 details). Additionally have contact details collated of your attendees, suppliers and staff should you need to inform people of any suspected cases.

 

Pegu Club

 

 March’s cocktail recipe is inspired by Rudyard Kipling who frequented the Pegu Club, a Gentleman’s Club in Myanmar. This was their signature cocktail, traditionally served in a coupe glass, the cocktail gained popularity and was designed to take the edge off the heat and humidity (may need to wait a few months for that to kick in!)

 

Ingredients:

40ml Gin

15ml lime juice

15ml orange curacao

2x dashes orange bitters

2x dashes Angostura bitters

 

Method:

  1. Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Fill with ice.
  3. Shake
  4. Strain into a glass and serve with a wedge of lime.

 

And while you’re sipping on that…here’s the full version of the poem as promised!

If

If you can keep your head when all about you   

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;   

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   

If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;   

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

 

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,   

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

 

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   

Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   

And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son! 

Rudyard Kipling 

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