Local Democracy Weekly: Don’t get complacent over impact of coronavirus

It’s been a hectic week, full of ever-flowing changes and warnings to the nation and the world about the dreaded coronavirus but there’s been one constant saying – “don’t get complacent.”

We’ve had services closed, sports and other events postponed and cancelled, and councils shutting up shop.

At the forefront has been health chiefs, including Lincolnshire’s Director of Public Health Professor Derek Ward who, in one of several ironies over the past few days, was one of those who found himself self-isolating due to experiencing the symptoms of the virus.

In his latest public service announcement on BBC Radio Lincolnshire this morning, he warned against complacency, saying his own case could have lead to more than 120 others if he had not self-isolated.

“If it is passed on to lots of people and the hospitals fill up, if that person has a heart attack or a stroke or is in a car accident, then the NHS is really going to struggle to cope and support them with their non-COVID19 related illness,” he told the BBC.

“It really does affect all of us and we all have a responsibility to do something about it. By isolating and making sure you follow the guidelines, you’re not only protecting yourself and your loved ones, you’re protecting everyone else in the population.”

He’s right of course, with scientific experts expecting newly installed social distancing measures to last throughout the year on and off, and many expecting the capital and other towns and cities to be placed in lock down if the virus gets any worse.

His is only the latest in a series of warnings though, with others including:

  • Wash your hands
  • Keep your distance
  • Don’t stockpile

According to the government’s coronavirus website as of 9am on Thursday 64,621 people had been tested in the UK, of which 61,352 were confirmed negative and 3,269 were confirmed positive.

As more get tested and confirmed, more measures are being put into place, schools and leisure centres are closed among others.

The more who take a breath and follow the guidance, hopefully the easier this too shall pass. – DANIEL JAINES


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