2020 from Derek


Earlier I composed a lighthearted reflection on my Twitta Tea and Covid 19 consequences.  
Since then I with my whole labour force, being Bev, have been picking what is probably the final round before pruning for the winter shut down.
While picking just now, the thought crossed my mind of how will my Northern Hemisphere brothers in Assam and the Dooars cope with first flush harvesting at this time?  The mind boggles, social distancing in the 'chalan' would be an enormous challenge, together with keeping distance with probable isolation in the labour lines. Perhaps there is a solution by organising the 'Mela" women into two separate groups 'odds and evens. Odds taking up positions leaving gaps of two bush widths.After a short interval evens would line up to take up the gaps left behind by the odds group keeping their distance at all times.  You would then have two lines of pickers one following the other towards the end of the section but keeping the requisite distance between themselves. Since I last stepped outside a tea factory about 60 years ago I believe automation has taken over suggesting that the infectious Covid virus is better controlled under these conditions with fewer workers in clusters milling about.  


Just something to ponder over during this crisis.