Covid-19 Archive

Podcast script - Wednesday, May 13, 2020

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Well good Morning Chelveston, Caldecott and Chelston Rise itís Wednesday 13th May and this is Adrian Dale with the daily podcast.

So today is the beginning of the end of the lock down Ė well at least we hope it is. Today some of the shackles of the lock down are released. But what exactly does this mean for the residents of Chelson-cum-Cawcud?

Well itís all a bit confusing really and the internet world had a field day yesterday with comments and jokes which have been shared around the Village group.

So before today, if you wanted to have a meeting of friends, you all had to all agree to queue outside ALDI or Waitrose at around 07:30 in the morning. Your supposed purpose was to buy food. But then it was permissible for you all to stand 2 metres apart in the queue and shout greetings to each other.

However, from today, you can legally meet any friends in a public open space without pretence, but there is a catch. You can only invite one friend at a time. This is instead of the group that previously met together without restriction in the queue at Waitrose or ALDI.

And then before today, you could only take one period of exercise a day outside. Unless of course you had a dog, in which case, animal welfare needs allowed you to walk your dog as many times as they had previously been walked.

But from today you can walk as much as you want without an imaginary dog, provided that you observe social distancing and of course the people you meet walking their imaginary dog mustnít be friends.

Indeed you can travel as far as you want to take your imaginary exercise with your imaginary dog, as long as you donít enter Wales or Scotland. You can actually even travel to your second home if you have one, but you can only walk around it and canít stay there overnight.

You can even play tennis with a single member of another household today, but you canít play doubles.

You can play a round of golf today, provided that you donít have a drink inside the club house later.

And the great news for Nigel Baxter is that from today, he is legally allowed to go fishing once more, and sit alone once more on the riverbank, over 5 metres from his nearest fisherman just as he did before the lock down.

Oh and of course, you are encouraged to wear a face covering when in a confined space or on public transport. But really you shouldnít be using public transport anyway unless you have to. Oh and by the way a face covering wonít really protect you personally at all unless it is a grade 1 mask or a respirator.

So letís STOP a minute and think. What on earth is going on here? Can we make sense of this in a way that helps us? Why have we got this myriad of possibly conflicting rules? What on earth is going on?

Letís reduce it all to basics and then use our collective common sense.

Number 1: This virus is highly contagious and I mean that. It is potentially more contagious than Spanish Flu that killed my Great Grandfather in 1919. Just 1 infected person in a Korean night club last week infected 111 other people. If you breathe the air from someone infected, then you are truly at risk of dying. So it is your job, no one elseís, to make sure you donít take that risk. Forget the rules Ė is that person near you going to kill you? If they might, then walk away.

Number 2: This virus can be transmitted by airborne droplets which can travel 8 metres after a sneeze and 4 metres after a cough. The often quoted 2 metre figure is an absolute minimum for someone breathing normally. The Government Is using statistics that says the 2 metre recommendation will minimise the overall population risk. Personally, I donít want to breathe the air from anyone within 10 metres who is from outside this Village, but it is of course your choice. Do you want to risk catching this highly contagious virus?

Number 3: Face masks just aim to reduce the distance a sneeze or cough can travel. Face it folks if someone coughs, breaths or sneezes right next to you without a face mask, your face mask wonít help protect you. If you see someone without a face mask, they may be your killer Ė avoid them.

Number 4: All the Governmentís rules assume most people are numpties that donít understand the science. When Nick Hancock was asked yesterday why loved ones canít meet in the open air in their back garden, his answer was that some back gardens can only be reached by going through the house and that this was a risk. And of course he is correct. But I know of only two back gardens in this Village which have a problem like that, and they are both opposite my house.

So what should we do in our Village? I speak here in a personal but informed capacity. Hereís my plan:

Step 1: I assume that everyone in this Village has been inadvertently infected, and I stay 4-5 metres from them in open air. I have only been into one house other than my own during this emergency and that was an emergency.

Step 2: I quarantine everything that comes into my house for 72 hours before touching it.

Step 3: I wonít shop anywhere I feel uncomfortable and I shop early in the day with all the other paranoid people. They are as terrified of me as I am of them. Thatís good Ė no actually thatís great.

Step 4: All the risks I take will be carefully thought through. When I take food parcels, tulips or swaps to houses around the Village, I know I take a risk and I guard against it. But I have to judge the risk versus the overall benefit. I take every precaution I can and I know you will do to.

Step 5: Lynne and I have to take Dexter the hound for 3 walks a day. Every one of these is potentially a killer. So we take every possible precaution we can Ė imagining how that virus might be creeping towards us from anyone we meet. We jump into nettles and we skulk in the undergrowth. There is no way I want to breathe the air of anyone else Ė 2 metres distant is 2 metres too close for me.

So please think folks Ė you have control over your lives Ė take no risks. Use the Government rules as guidance, but above all use your common sense.

So is there any good news?

Well actually yes, the Parish Council has decided that we can go ahead with Pete Rawlinís proposed Scarecrow Competition. However, it wonít be on the Whitsun Bank Holiday as originally hoped. The judging will be during the weekend of the 12th June. This gives plenty of time for all households to prepare, but more importantly allows the Parish Council to plan a safe, stewarded walking route around the Village, to allow everyone to view the entries safely. It would be lovely to see residents out and about, but the overriding concern is safety and common sense. If you inadvertently come into contact with someone who has been infected, you might die. No one wants that.

So some of the shackles have been taken off us and more are to follow in June. But I am carrying on regardless, assuming that the next person I meet might have the virus. It is my job to protect me Ė the Government rules will onluy help others help me, but I am taking no risks.

Thank you

Thank you