I have deliberately held off from writing about the Covid 19 pandemic until it was clearer what kind of crisis we are dealing with. Now that is clear: a very serious one.
The government’s strategy is to try to delay and reduce the peak so that the NHS has the capacity to look after the vulnerable. Many of us will get this virus but will do so in a mild way and after 7 to 14 days of staying at home, can crack on again, knowing we are immune. Our focus must be to look after the over 70’s and people with underlying medical conditions, and that is the clear plan.
Our Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Advisor are very impressive, and have developed a strategy plan that we should stick with it. As we approach the peak (still probably some weeks away) we have now been asked to put in place dramatic new social distancing measures. These are draconian and sacrificial, but according to the science, necessary. Normally, 8,000 people will die over the winter of flu in the UK. If we do nothing it is thought that 260,000 plus will die of coronavirus. We must take this seriously.
We are now putting in place unprecedented support for businesses to help them through the next three months. I am in touch with many worried local businesspeople.
We are not simply going to revert to “normal” in six months’ time. The economic impacts will be with us for years. Just as we were beginning to recover from the Brexit Uncertainty, we now face an even greater challenge. Maybe we will discover a new way of working and doing community.
This is an opportunity for us to pull together. There will always be some selfish people who buy up all the toilet paper, just as in WW2 a small minority made a fortune on the black market. Ignore them, the rest of us can show the world how it is done.
There are a lot of people out there doing a great job and trying to help others. Our biggest thanks go to our amazing NHS and care workers. But we all need to do our bit.
If you live in my constituency and find yourself in need of practical assistance, and there is no family or neighbour to help, call us on 01752 335666 where I and my team are ready to help.
We will overcome.