How is Essex Coping
with the Coronavirus Lockdown?
Essex has one of the highest rates of coronavirus infection outside of London, largely because so many people in Essex travel to London for work; it is currently the third-worst affected local authority in England.
With thousands of people in full isolation, including all over 70s, and many people working from home or laid off work, these are very challenging times.
Although the pandemic has created a somewhat frightening environment, the like of which we have never witnessed before, in a short space of time many voluntary groups, organisations, community associations, businesses and individuals have pulled together in Essex to make sure life during the lockdown is not only bearable but remains as normal as feasibly possible.
The community spirit in Essex, and elsewhere across the country, is amazing and one would certainly hope this fosters a longer-term change in our society; a change that is evidenced in a kinder, more equitable way of living.
Here’s a snap-shot of some of the positive things happening across Essex.
Essex County Council Form Coronavirus Task Force
Essex County Council have launched a new dedicated page on Coronavirus where they announce news and make appeals for help, volunteers and equipment, and also set up
Essex Coronavirus Action on Facebook, which is giving advice out to thousands of concerned and anxious residents in Essex, and also helps link up volunteers with vulnerable people in need of some help.
If you live elsewhere in the country, your local authority may also have its own Facebook page which provides an excellent way of keeping up to date with official information (do be very careful of fake news which is prevalent on social media)
Food and Medicine Deliveries
Many food shops and restaurants have closed and are instead delivering food directly to their customers, and many wholesalers are now selling to local residents rather than businesses. For example, JM Swift Wholesale Fruit & Vegetables are delivering fresh food to elderly people in East Hanningfield, and beyond. Many Parish Councils, such as Great Baddow Parish Council, have reached out to businesses and organisations in the area to create comprehensive lists where people can get food and medicine delivered, as well as legal, financial and other help. These seemingly simple tasks provide a vital lifeline for so many people today. Some taxi companies are also doing free pharmacy deliveries, ensuring vital medicine is delivered to people in isolation.
Many companies have been able to provide supplies of PPE such as masks and aprons, to the NHS and the wider social care community, from their own stocks.
Many other companies, including those with 3D print facilities and technical expertise, have engaged with callouts from central government, local government and universities to help the speedy manufacture of further supplies
Care Companies Deliver New Hand Gel Supplies
Global hand sanitiser supplies sold out at the start of March leaving many people with none at all.
Care homes, hospitals, schools and frontline workers all need alcohol hand sanitiser to reduce risk of spreading COVID-19, as for these people it is not always possible to get to the basin to wash with soap and water.
One Essex business, CareCo in Brentwood, worked with a UK manufacturer to get a new product, ProVive hand sanitiser, on the shelves in record-breaking time. Demand for this has been high, even though production costs were considerably higher than normal resulting, inevitably, in a substantially increased sale price.
More UK companies are now following suit, and British manufacturing is getting a much-needed boost as a result.
These are certainly difficult times for all, but we’re already three weeks into lockdown and people are, on the whole, coping well, staying positive and helping each other.
The Easter weekend will be challenging for many people, but Explore Essex has set up a Virtual Easter Egg Hunts, and encourages people to display pictures of Easter Eggs in their windows, so children while taking their daily exercise with family, can look for them and count them.
And of course, Healthy Life Essex has responded by sharing information AND changing the events calendar to feature only positive online events. CLICK HERE for the full calendar and CLICK HERE for a quick view to see what events are happening now. (More events are being added all the time.)
As the Queen said in her address to the nation, we will succeed, and echoing Vera Lynn’s immortal words, we’ll meet again – we don’t know where, and we don’t know when, but we’ll meet again, some sunny day.
STAY POSITIVE. STAY AT HOME