Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
27th March 2020
Since my last newsletter to you, everyone’s lives have changed dramatically following the escalation of the spread of Coronavirus.
It seems a very long time since the first case of Coronavirus (COVID-19) was recorded in the UK but, in fact, it was less than two months ago on 31 January. The earliest case of it being caught in this country was on 28 February, just 28 days ago. These facts really bring home to me the enormity of what we are dealing with and underline why it has been necessary to restrict our personal freedoms by bringing in emergency legislation.
Over the past two weeks, and with support across the party political spectrum, the Government has acted decisively in bringing in unprecedented measures to slow down the spread of the virus, protect our health and the NHS, support the most vulnerable in society and help with personal finances and business continuity.
I am sure none of us ever expected to witness things like the panic-buying in supermarkets which cleared the shelves of basic items and left some of those working in frontline roles unable to buy the provisions they needed after a long and stressful day. Our supermarkets and smaller retailers have adapted at impressive speed to cope with these demands and the results are beginning to show as more products appear back on the shelves and more online shopping slots are being made available for those who need it most.
I know from my inbox just how much these measures have already helped but inevitably more will need to be done. It therefore more essential than ever that communities rally round to support themselves. I am so proud to say that across the Bexhill and Battle constituency this has been the case. Parish and town councils, residents, community and faith groups have all joined together to work out how to make sure every member of their community can access the help and support they need.
My own team have been working incredibly hard to respond to the hundreds of emails and calls we have been receiving in order to provide people with the information and advice they need in an environment which changes on a daily basis. They have created a new section on my website which provides information on support in your area as well as advice for business, individuals, mental health and many other related subjects. Please do share this with family and friends, the link is below.
I want to express my gratitude and support to everyone who is working in frontline roles. All of our NHS staff, carers, teachers, school and nursery staff who are looking after key workers’ children and continuing to support pupils with online lessons, supermarket and food retailers’ staff, pharmacies, bank staff, postal workers, couriers, haulage drivers, taxi drivers, maintenance staff, plumbers, electricians, refuse collectors and many more who cannot work from home or isolate themselves as their work is essential to the well-being of others. Thank you.
I will leave you with this final thought. These are worrying and stressful times but, as I stepped outside of my own front door in my village community at 8pm last night to join people across the country by clapping and making noise to show our appreciation for our phenomenal NHS staff, I realised that one thing is a certain:
Even with social-distancing, our co-dependence on each other in these exceptional times will strengthen our personal ties to our communities and we will form new friendships with those who live near us. I hope, despite the challenges and sadness this current situation may bring, that these community bonds will be a positive lasting legacy for us when this crisis is over, and it will be over.
Please stay well and safe, follow government guidance, support each other and together we will get through this.