Covid-19 Archive

Podcast script - Saturday, April 11, 2020

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Good Morning Chelveston, Caldecott and Chelston Rise. It’s Saturday the 11th April and this is Sir Lenny Henry here (in my best Shakespearean voice) introducing the daily briefing for the Village.

Thank you Sir Lenny. I’m afraid that Jasper Carrot has disappeared back off to Birmingham where he was born. My birthplace was apparently much too down market for a Brummie, so I asked one of my local heroes to step in.

Now when you stick your head above the parapet like I do, you tend to find that your name and phone number make their way onto all sorts of lists. I get lots of Village related calls out of the blue from various organisations and am rarely surprised. Lynne, on the other hand, often struggles with the regular interruptions and is frequently amazed by the requests. Yesterday was no exception.

I’ve had a very busy week dealing with emergency requests, and also helping the Church get their Holy Week materials ready. Then on top of that both of my mowers broke and so I have fallen behind on grass cutting, not to mention litter picking, as Allen Freeman spotted yesterday.

So I said to Lynne that I would see if I could fix a mower on Friday morning and then do a couple of hours grass cutting to try and regain control. The problem was that I really shouldn’t cut grass on a Good Friday. However, I figured that the Church would probably forgive me and that many residents would be cutting their own grass anyway. But after the strong words from the Chief Constable on Thursday, Lynne was very worried. Was it really essential that I went out in the car with the mower round the Village? Could I keep enough social distance? Surely people would complain. But I was adamant and off I went.

So you can imagine her consternation when 20 minutes later a police car pulled up outside the house. Her first thought was “Oh my goodness I wonder who has shopped him into the police” and her second thought was “how the heck did they get here so quickly”. Well anyway a very nice young man in a dark uniform got out and approached the house (By the way what is it with women and dark uniforms? I wear a bright yellow one all day, and I don’t find women swooning – mind you some do offer me drinks in hot weather which is fantastic – so thank you Ashley and Vicky) Anyway this copper went up to the front door and posted a warning leaflet through it from the Police saying “Stay at Home”. It couldn’t be clearer – I had been warned. Lynne opened the door to speak to the officer but the nice young man in a dark uniform just waved and said “I’ve dropped those in for Adrian, he’ll know why” “Goodness” she thought, “They even know his first name!”, but then she thought “well that’s a very polite telling off, I really can’t see that doing the trick”.

When I got home from grass cutting, she was still puzzled and concerned, but I was doubled up with laughter. Whilst I was out cutting grass, I’d had a message from the Chief of Special Constables in Northamptonshire. He was out on duty with his teams yesterday and was planning to swing through Chelveston. His plan was to push some warning leaflets through my door so that I could put them on all the notice boards in the Village.

So in fact the nice young man in dark uniform was actually the Chief of Special Constables, and rather than being told off, I was officially helping the police with their enquiries.

In other local news, the colouring competition got off to a good start. Many households have printed their own materials, but others have asked for copies. I have delivered the first batch. If anyone needs any more, let me know. The prizes arrived yesterday, and the winners are in for treat. Let’s see those entries.

The second of the Church’s special Holy Week services went off successfully, so all the early morning working was worthwhile. I had no idea how exhausting Holy Week could be. To be honest, I haven’t even thought about it for over 50 years, so it has been quite an eye opener reading all the materials. At last I am beginning to see what the fuss is about. And no Michelle, you haven’t converted me, I am just even more respectful of the work you do!

The national daily Coronavirus figures released yesterday were very disappointing with a record rise of 980 deaths on Thursday to 5pm. The UK figures are now just 200 deaths short of Italy at the same point in their infection. Make no mistake about it, this infection is not under control at a national level. Locally, the number of hospitalised patients with Covid-19 infections in Northamptonshire jumped by 79 yesterday. This is very serious. If even half of these patients develop severe respiratory problems, then the intensive care capacity of Kettering and Northampton General Hospitals will be overwhelmed.

The message this weekend couldn’t be more stark.

Stay home, protect the NHS, save lives.

Thank you