Covid-19 Archive

Podcast script - Monday, May 18, 2020

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Good Morning Chelveston, Caldecott and Chelston Rise itís Monday 18th May and this is Adrian Dale with the daily podcast.

During the course of this emergency, our Village has been very fortunate. Yes we have had our Covid-19 cases, and some people have been very poorly indeed. But as far as we know, no-one has been hospitalised by Covid-19.

We have seen three distinct settlements bond as a community, and we now have a vibrant and trusting network across the Village. People ask daily for help, they offers swaps, they share humour and advice. Even yesterday, one of our few missing households became aware of what they were losing out on and asked to be connected in. So welcome to them.

Weíve had challenges and disagreements along the way, but all have been resolved without any fallings out Ė at least I hope so. I would like to think that our level of community spirit and engagement is as high as it has ever been in history.

Of course, there will always be some who donít want to participate. I have had two households that were very cross at my persistent attempts to check that they were ok. But frankly, these were balanced by the households that were relieved that I had made contact. Only last week I was contacted by one resident to say they were in fact struggling. For weeks they have said they were fine, but I knew there was an issue coming so I was persistent, staying in touch each week. When the call for help came, I was able to mobilise quickly. With the network we now have, I was able to sort out their problems with just two phone calls and the services of two volunteers. Thanks to Sam and Sara for helping out here. You have made a huge difference.

Of course as we found last week, there are always the few who want to spoil the party. Our quad bikers were out and about on VE Day and have been seen several times since on footpaths and bridleways where they just shouldnít be.

Reports and photographs came in during the week and their identity was established very quickly. Things have now moved on. They are driving up onto the airfield regularly now and using the paths and bridleways up there. The owners of that land have taken exception to this and have decided to take action. They have the number plate of the bike and have found that it is untaxed, indeed it has been declared as being off road and not in use. So multiple laws are being broken. The owners of the airfield have made contact with us and wondered if the Village had any idea of the identity of the drivers, as they are making a report to the DVLA and the police on Monday with clear evidence of what has been going on. Taking a very careful legal position, I am delighted to inform you that it is entirely possible that the alleged identity of this individual has been supplied to the owners of the airfield by person or persons unknown.

It is not right that one individual in our community should consider themselves outside the law. We should not have to contend with motorised vehicles on footpaths and bridleways.

As we enter our 9th week of lock down, this pattern of civil disobedience is being repeated across the Country. Polling yesterday showed that the support for the lock down process has plummeted, especially amongst the younger members of the population. The over 50s are generally supportive of the lock down, knowing that its intent is to keep the R number for the virus well below 1.0. The under 50s are losing the faith. Their lives are being wrecked in order to protect the vulnerable. It is inevitable that they will start taking calculated risks and there is evidence that this is already happening.

Infection rates are now edging up again. Some startling calculations were released by the Sunday Times yesterday. If the R number can be kept at 0.5, then the virus infection will die out to negligible levels in 16 months. Can we face another 16 months of some form of lock down? I donít think we can.

However, if we allow the R number to creep up to 0.9, then the virus will take 86 months Ė over 7 years to peter out.

So we face some stark choices. My view, for what it is worth, is that the short sharp shock we have had was worth it to bring the virus under control. With better planning we wouldnít be in this mess, but we are where we are. Now the economy must restart and the schools must re-open. But things canít go back to how they were.

We must all keep up with social distancing, we must all wear face coverings and businesses must adapt. The supermarkets have done so and the evidence is good, very few supermarket workers are now getting infected. So the problem can be managed.

I even saw a blueprint yesterday for the pub of the future. It involved a return to the snug or the booth where groups of people were screened from each other whilst drinking or dining. This will be hard to do, but it can be done.

Our teachers and schools have always sought to educate and protect the children in their care. You can be assured that they will be doing everything they can to ensure that children are as safe as they can be when schools reopen. We cannot lock up our children for ever. We must manage the risks they face but need them to have the right start in life with education and friends. Otherwise, we go back to the dark ages.

Our goal, therefore, is to keep the transmission rates low for the next two years whilst continuing to shield our clinically vulnerable residents as best we can.

But during this we have to keep our spirits up. The entertainments committee has two new competitions now up and running. The first is for Virtual Chelsea Flower Show Week. Bloms bulbs are providing hundreds of bunches of tulips and we are looking for the most creative arrangements around the Village. Families can get tulips at three locations around the Village: Scaraben in Water Lane Chelveston, Melrose Cottage in Caldecott, and 24 the Crescent in Chelston Rise.

Please make a donation for your tulips, all proceeds will go to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children. Chris Blom our resident tulip gold medallist will judge the arrangements on Wednesday.

And then we have Peteís Key Worker Scarecrow competition. More about this tomorrow.

So Chelveston, Caldecott and Chelston Rise, the coming week is about understanding and managing the risks we all face. The economy must restart, children must go back to school. We need to find ways that this can happen safely and we cannot rely on our Government for all of this. It is up to us all to think about everything we do everyday. How can we ensure that we are not exposed and that we donít expose others.

Over to you

Thank you