It’s been another mixed bag of a week in the government’s response to the coronavirus in the arts. First, there was Chancellor Rishi Sunak suggesting, then retracting, that arts employees should think about retraining. Then there was a government advert featuring Fatima the ballet dancer, suggesting she give up the boards and take up ‘cyber’ (me neither).

In between, like pretty much every other arts freelancer I know, I tried the government’s new careers advice quiz. Apparently, I should consider retraining as a boxer. Tyson Fury can probably sleep easy.

In the midst of all this, the first tranche of the culture recovery fund was finally revealed. And while there are many arts organisations breathing a sigh of relief, the money came too late for those individuals already made redundant. And for many other organisations, their applications were left without any funding at all. ‘We considered whether your organisation is culturally significant’ the somewhat brutal rejection letter from the Arts Council read – the conclusion presumably being that in their opinion, no, you’re not.

One area of culture hardest hit by the pandemic has been those involved in the night-time economy. Last week, London’s G-A-Y nightclub launched a legal battle to overturn the government’s 10pm curfew, on the grounds that there was no scientific basis for the rule.

On Monday, the culture secretary Oliver Dowden told Sky News there was US academic evidence behind the ban, but still failed to offer any details. Last weekend, I caught up with Amanda Newbery, owner of the Chapel Nightclub in Salisbury, and one of many organisations denied government funding. Closed since March, and with all staff furloughed, Amanda described working ‘the hardest six months of my life’ to keep the business going by herself.

What feels frustrating for Amanda is the belief that nightclubs could find a way to function: with security and decent ventilation, ways of doing business safely are potentially possible. Nightclubs, too, serve as a social service: the return of illegal raves shows what happens when closed. Amanda described their role as a crucial place for people to unwind. Running the club, she’d often see people at their rawest and could step in to help.

The ongoing mental health of regular customers she hasn’t seen for six months, particularly young men, clearly worried her. It’s easy to overlook the importance of nightclubs in a town’s ecosystem, and also their wider musical influence.

To suggest that, say, opera is culturally significant and club culture isn’t, feels quite a narrow and old-fashioned view of what the arts are. I might not be a boxer, whatever the government’s computer programme says, but I hope I’m not the only one willing to fight their corner.