Open letter to my Member of Parliament,
The Right Honourable Dame Cheryl Gillan DBE FCIM DipM:
Dear Dame Cheryl,
I saw a “joke” on Facebook comparing all the steps that other countries are taking to combat the spread of the COVID-19 infection, the joke was in for form of a number of nations’ flags with text against them outlining the steps those countries had, and are taking to combat the spread of the virus. Against the Union Flag: “Wash your hands and sing happy birthday.”
Frankly, after having to cancel a trip to mainland Europe because the events I was travelling to attend were one by one being cancelled, and rightly so, I am somewhat appalled by our government’s apparent surfeit of inertia when it comes to actually doing things to halt the spread of this virus.
It’s all very well for the Chancellor to stand up and say that money is no object but I really think it’s time for him to put his (albeit borrowed) money where his mouth is.
I cancelled my trip to Europe because I thought that it was the sensible thing to do; I was going to Poland where they have fewer cases of COVID-19 but they seem to be taking things far more seriously and all mass gatherings are cancelled and schools, museums, libraries etc. are closed.
Meanwhile, this morning on the BBC News program an intrepid reporter was at Cheltenham racecourse talking about the horse racing, the expected crowd of somewhere around 60,000 people and the fact that they had installed extra toilets where people could wash their hands. It is indeed a joke.
You and I Cheryl, we’re of a similar age, an age that puts both of us in that category where we are classed being at slightly greater risk from COVID-19 should we contract it; and as my Member of Parliament, I would expect you to lobby for whatever is best for your constituents but simply retweeting the advice to “wash your hands” from somebody who already has the virus doesn’t really fill me with confidence.
Of course we should wash our hands but that should only be the first line of defence. When will the Government take the real action that is needed to combat this pernicious viral interloper?
No doubt I will receive the standard, Houses of Parliament letterhead reply thanking me for my communication and assuring me that all is well.
And talking of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who is that guy? He doesn’t look old enough to be in long trousers, let alone politics.
Ah well, watch this space…
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Edit: 20 March 2020
Later that same day I received an answer…