Covid-19 Archive

Podcast script - Thursday, April 09, 2020

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Good Morning Chelveston, Caldecott and Chelston Rise. It’s Maundy Thursday the 9th April and this is Adrian Dale with the daily briefing for the Village.

As I am finalising this podcast in the mornings it is still dark outside, and I sometimes wonder whether anyone actually listens. I know my father does, but I speak to him twice a day anyway, so he doesn’t count. And Brenda and Ken usually comment but again I could phone them both up at a much more civilised hour. So you can imagine my pleasure when I had a phone call yesterday morning from Horace Eady (or Aitch as most of know him). Horace has the honour of being the current Father of the Village. Now to be clear that doesn’t mean that he was the cause of a mini-baby boom in his youth! No, it means that he is the oldest living resident who was born in the Village. What Horace doesn’t know about the Village history isn’t worth knowing. So when he calls me I listen.

“Adrian” he said, “I was listening to your broadcast yesterday” – so far so good I thought, at least someone listens. “Anyway, I enjoyed it” (even better I thought) “but er I know you’re a stickler for getting things right” (I thought oh dear this doesn’t sound so good), “well yesterday you made a big mistake” (aagh my heart fell). “You might have lived here 33 years but you know bugger all about the countryside” (I was puzzled and wondered what the hell was coming next). “In my day, we didn’t have herds of sheep on the road, like what you talked about yesterday, we had herds of cows. Our sheep went around in flocks”. Well I collapsed in fits of laughter. Horace has such a dead pan way of delivering a joke, I just didn’t see it coming. But the main thing is at least someone listened to the first part of the podcast.

An hour later I had a message from Vanessa Blane. She’d heard me welcome Richard into Caldecott and wondered why I hadn’t welcomed Lee who had moved into Chelston Rise. I was mortified – how had I missed a new arrival? I did some digging and it was clearly my mistake. When I delivered the first letters about the emergency, Raine Earnshaw had just moved out and her house was empty, so I didn’t leave a letter. When I delivered the second one, it still looked empty so I didn’t leave a letter. My mistake completely and in my database, I had marked the house empty. So sorry Lee, welcome aboard. I’ve delivered the letters and a copy of the walking map. But I’ll buy you a beer when the pub re-opens as a proper welcome.

So now I know that someone listens right through the podcast to the end!

But to make sure this doesn’t happen again, I have had a chat with our brilliant postie Elliot. Of course, he knew that Raine had moved out and he knew that Lee had moved in. Elliot is dependable and very discrete, but he knows everything. He probably knows our birthdays better than our families do. Elliot has agreed to let me know if anyone moves in or out. He can’t tell me the names involved, but can let me know if a household changes occupancy. He also keeps an eye on all the vulnerable households and will let me know if he is worried about any of them. So there we go, it’s another string to our bow. Elliot is also on the case.

I had a third call at lunch time which shows what happens if you are out of the loop, and don’t follow the daily broadcasts and newsletter. A medically vulnerable resident being supported by her daughter is struggling to get supermarket delivery slots. Unfortunately, she doesn’t seem to have received her NHS letter and so hadn’t known about the vulnerable persons scheme. I have been able to point them to the daily newsletter and get them to register with the GOV.UK and the Northamptonshire County Council Support Line. Sadly, it will take 2-3 weeks for this to take effect. However, at least her family can support her in the interim.

The Village telegraph worked well today. A food parcel was mis-delivered and word reached me quickly. I was really worried as the household it was intended for were supposedly all ok on my database. Had they suddenly deteriorated? I dashed round to pick it up in my Postman Pat van and was delighted to see that the box contained strawberries, asparagus, lemons and a sweet potato. I realised then that this wasn’t an emergency parcel, the green grocers in Higham just got lost in the maze of Village addresses!

The national news wasn’t good. James Bird watches Sky News closely and every day for the last week, they seem to have released the figures for NHS England before the Department for Health. He alerted me before 3pm about a shocking figure of 828 deaths in England. The official figures for the UK weren’t released until just before 5pm showing 938 deaths in hospitals across the whole of the United Kingdom. When you take care homes and private homes into account, today we will have passed the threshold of 1,000 deaths in a day.

Less than three weeks ago, when this lock down started, we had 33 deaths in one day. That is a 30 fold increase in just 21 days, almost unbelievable

So this Easter weekend, I hope that everyone thinks twice before inviting friends over for the last barbeque they might ever have.

Fortunately, we are coping well in this Village. Our fifth family has now recovered and is out of isolation. We wish the remaining 4 a speedy recovery. Remember we are all there for you.

Stay safe folks, stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.

Thank you