In February/March 2020, just after the Club’s annual supper, it became apparent that a major disease, first seen in China, was spreading throughout the world. Many aspects of day to day life in Scotland were affected by the spread of the virus with the Government closing down large numbers of businesses, schools, colleges and preventing travel both internationally and at home.
Late December 2020 saw the beginning of vaccinations on a large scale throughout the country with full coverage unlikely until late 2021. The vast majority of Burns Suppers scheduled for January 2021 were cancelled as it was illegal to hold such large events.
‘Let it Blaw’ took the decision that rather than cancel our annual supper, we would host a gathering of members online using the relatively new ‘Zoom’ system. Speakers were told to reduce the length of toasts and replies from what would otherwise have been thought normal, and the number of songs and recitations were reduced to ensure the meeting lasted for about three hours which was deemed long enough for the online format.
Last year, we held what we hoped would be a unique ‘online’ Burns Supper due to the COVID19 virus and the Government restrictions on meetings and moving about from A to B. Since the pandemic began, we have endured lockdowns, being kept in isolation, quarantine for UK citizens returning home from overseas, multiple vaccinations, vast numbers told to work from home and, the week before our 2022 Supper it was announced that over 150,000 people had now died as a result of the virus since it started almost two years ago. So here we are again with our second online Gathering in memory of Robert Burns. Surely, next year, we will meet in happier circumstances.