Covid-19 Archive

Podcast script - Sunday, March 29, 2020

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Good Morning Chelveston, Caldecott and Chelston Rise. Itís Sunday 29th March. This is Adrian Dale with the daily emergency briefing for the Village.

I get up at 5am to prepare the dayís. Thatís only 20 minutes or so before I used to get up in the pre-emergency days.

Yesterday Rachael Maywood reminded everyone on the WhatsApp group about the clocks going forward this morning Ė but yes guess who forgot! Unfortunately, my iPhone didnít forget, so here I am with my body screaming at me that it is only 4:15am, just wanting to go back to bed.

I canít believe that it has been a week since the Council declared a Parish Emergency and that this is 10th of our broadcasts. So perhaps itís time to reflect and take stock.

This lock down has brought about a profound change to our lives, one that no-one could have foreseen even one short month ago. The first death from Covid-19 was recorded in the United Kingdom on 5th March.

If had told you then that 24 days later we would record 260 deaths in a single day, would you have believed me?

I had told you then that the majority of the jobs in this country would have disappeared or been put on hold, would you have believed me?

I had told you it then that it would now be a criminal offence to make a recreational car journey, would you have believed me?

My mind is still struggling to come to terms with how life can change so profoundly in such a short time across the whole planet. There was no earthquake, no tsunami, no raging bushfires or devastating floods. Any of those would have been an instantaneous shock, but at least something to relate to. Instead weíve had an unseen killer creeping across the world, fuelled by global travel, not showing itself until it was too late.

There are still people in this country and indeed even in this county who donít believe this is real. Their behaviours havenít changed Ė a family of 6 going supermarket shopping together in Morrisons yesterday just beggared believe.

When the Prime Minister urged us to practice social distancing just 2 weeks ago there had been only 35 deaths in the United Kingdom in total. Large parts of the country ignored him.

When he closed the pubs on Friday 20th and we went into lock down, there had been 177 deaths in total. Still many people ignored him and carried on regardless.

Sadly many of the 260 people that died yesterday became infected only in the last two weeks. All in the time that people ignored him. Our collective failure to follow strict social distancing is costing fresh lives everyday. I know we do our best in the Village, but remember that every trip you take out of the Village carries with it a risk. Please stay home, protect the NHS, save lives.

In the face of this adversity, something quite remarkable has happened in this Village. 125 people, are now in minute to minute contact via WhatsApp. Another 45 people are connected by email. Two thirds of the households in the Village now fully engaged with our emergency plan. And all of this has happened in the space of 7 momentous days.

Weíve seen many acts of kindness and generosity. We seen humour and banter. Weíve seen people working together like never before. And on Thursday night the Village united in clapping the NHS. Yesterday I had the privilege of delivering Blomís tulips to some of the households self-isolating. The smiles and tears of joy wonít be forgotten.

If I had told you 24 days ago that we would have achieved all this, would you have believed me?

This coming week will be the most telling in the countryís campaign against Covid-19. This coming week we will find out whether we have deflected the tide of virus. This coming week will certainly test our resolve.

Sadly for some it will be too late, but whatever happens, I know that this Village is now in the best shape it could be given the short time we have had to mobilise. Our volunteer network is ready, the Council is ready and the countyís key workers are ready.

I hope you can find time today to relax and reflect on how lucky we are to live in this Village. We live with wonderful people, in beautiful surroundings, largely insulated from the chaos that could soon engulf our cities.

Michelle knows I am not a man of faith but even I feel truly blessed to be in this Parish today.