Covid-19 Archive

Podcast script - Tuesday, March 24, 2020

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Good Morning Chelveston, Caldecott and Chelston Rise. Itís Monday the 24th March. This is Adrian Dale with the daily briefing.

Well it was another roller coaster of a day yesterday, without precedent in our lifetimes. The day started with the very sad news that Naomi had taken the difficult decision to close the pub completely for the duration of the emergency. The Village responded brilliantly at the weekend with requests for take out meals. We managed to eat our way through most of her stocks. So she would have needed to reorder. However, the economics were against her. It was impossible to sustain the jobs her team with take away meals alone.

However, she hopes to be back when the emergency ends and you can imagine the party we are going to have! In the meantime, we all need to keep an eye on the place and Iíll continue to keep the grass cut. I have said before the Pub is at the heart of our Village and we will keep it looking at its best. Itís a measure of Naomi that in the face of such adversity she offered her stock of potatoes and carrots to the Village. What a gesture Ė we wonít forget it. All the best to you Naomi and the team Ė weíll miss you, for now.

We also had lots of useful information from the group on specialised suppliers of various foods who had good stocks. Most of the supermarkets are now on top of the chaos. There are still low stocks of some items but overall there are supplies.

Mark Hunter, the Parish Clerk now has identity letters available for volunteers shopping on behalf of others. Please contact me if you need such a letter but remember the new rules outlined by the Prime Minister last night.

However, we need to add a word of caution here. Covid-19 is a virulent virus, easily passed person to person and from surface to person. If you are shopping for someone else in isolation, it is absolutely vital that you not approach them or touch anything whatsoever on their property. Above all do not accept money or a cheque in payment. All surfaces are potentially contaminated, bags, boxes, shelves and definitely coins or notes. The Parish Council is exploring how to operate a Village payment scheme. There are legal obstacles but these have been escalated to the Government to be sorted. In the mean time, I am happy to keep a tally of who owes what as long as both parties to the transaction agree. Let me know by private message and I will sort it.

So yesterday morning, I explained that the Parish Council had declared a Parish Emergency for the first time in its history. This was done in the full expectation that the Prime Minister would announce further restrictions in movement last night. The Parish Council was absolutely right to do this and I am frankly amazed that other towns and parishes havenít done this as well.

What does this mean in practice?

The Village Hall has now been requisitioned as the Parish Emergency Centre and today it was deep cleaned top to bottom by Rachael Maywood. If we can get the equipment, her husband Mike will be improving the network to allow additional workstations if needed. We hope these wonít be used but our moto has always been ďat least one step aheadĒ.

We have purchased stationery supplies and moved large scale maps of the Parish into the Hall. I have set up the recording station for the daily broadcasts and split the Hall into two. Mark Hunter will be based in one half, and when I am there I will be in the other with the doors separating us to maintain social distance. The emergency phone line is now live and the messaging service should go live overnight. This will be publicised in due course.

Access will be strictly limited for safety and security reasons. If Carol and the team need to pick up letters for distribution, theyíll pick them up from the porch to minimise contacts.

I have spent the day working through our database of households, trying to fill in the gaps in communications. Will still have over 100 houses who have not signed up to receive any form of information about this emergency. This is very worrying and will be addressed. Every household must be in the loop to protect the whole Village. I will therefore be contacting every household to try to get an electronic address from them, even a text message number will do. We donít want our distribution team to go out without good reason to deliver paper leaflets to houses that refuse to engage with our emergency plan. Of course, some elderly and vulnerable people will not have electronic addresses, but most if not all will have telephones of some sort. We will arrange for a buddy to stay in touch with these people by phone.

These are difficult times, but as Parish we have so far always been one step ahead of events in this emergency. The Parish Council will be working hard to keep it this way but we will need your help.

If you are on the WhatsApp group, please listen in as early as you are able to after 07:30. Similarly, please donít let the email alerts drift down the box before opening. Our daily bulletins may contain the information that saves your life of those of your loved ones. Please donít ignore them.

Thanks for listening folks and above all stay safe.