Published: Monday, 11th January 2021
I am writing to you as a resident of our borough facing the enormous challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to all of our doorsteps.
This letter is in support of the letter already written by Cllr Danny Thorpe.
My thoughts are with each and every person. Whatever your age and status as you face the days of isolation and anxiety, we all share the same concerns; finding the motivation to fulfil simple daily tasks, worrying about our work and our jobs, supporting children and young people in homeschooling, keeping in contact with sick, elderly and isolated neighbours and family, feeling anxious about contracting the disease, which now poses a much higher threat to us all and watching our front line workers as they continue to give and give more to support the rest of us.
We need to be in control and work together to support each other, but also take steps to prevent further stress in our community.
Stay home, stay safe.
Wash hands, cover face, keep your distance.
Take advice if symptoms develop.
Use your phone, and media to contact each other.
Talk to someone each day.
These are not new messages but need to be everyone’s responsibility. Please do all of the above. If not I hate to say it, but you could be the next victim of this cruel disease.
Get the vaccine!
As soon as the vaccine becomes available to you, just do it. This is not a dose of the flu. This virus can have long and lasting consequences on the body. If we all get vaccinated, then we can develop a proper defence.
I decided I needed to share this story with everyone. A close family member has dementia. He requires 24-hour care and support for this condition. This care and support has been given for five months now by our amazing NHS staff. Despite all of our precautions, he has contracted COVID-19, and is now in Queen Elizabeth hospital. He is described as very poorly.
This will be such a familiar story to so many of our residents. Someone close to you will be cared for by our NHS staff, those angels in blue. They will provide the care you cannot give because you can’t visit, due to the restrictions. They will feed, wash, talk to patients - no matter how busy they are. They will patiently answer the phone to you when you desperately need to know how your much-loved relative is doing. They will also sound upbeat and positive to reassure you. They will do all this despite the hospital working at more than full capacity.
I know because this is exactly what is happening to me now. It is hard to describe how much these amazing professionals are doing for us, but I will be forever grateful and humbled by our present experience.
My partner has a team of people all dedicated to his care. All keeping him safe when I cannot be there.
Our story is not unique, but we can all help to prevent the spread of this virus. So, please follow the restrictions of this lockdown. I would not like to hear of any more of our families going through overwhelming anxiety.
I will be taking the vaccine as soon as I am allowed. To beat the spread, join me!
Cllr Linda Bird, The Mayor of Royal Greenwich.