It may only be March but we already know what 2020 will be remembered for. We also know that the following two months are going to see our everyday lives change, not just here but across the world. The coronavirus outbreak is the biggest public health emergency in Europe for a generation and is likely to see measures, introduced at the right time, not normally seen in peacetime.
This is a very fast-moving situation and naturally people are concerned, but panic buying is making life harder for the very people who need our support at this time - our elderly and those with existing health conditions. The generation who made huge sacrifices during the Second World War and the post-war austerity years, and who laid the foundations for the quality of life we enjoy today, now need us to look out for them.
This is going to be a national effort and everyone has a part to play. There is much we can do. It is us younger people who are most likely to catch and spread the virus, simply because we are out and about more. Doing what we can not to catch and spread the virus not only helps stopping it spread to more vulnerable people, it also helps the NHS to have more capacity to treat older people, if we do not become ill ourselves.
Those of us who can get out easily really don’t need to buy more than we need. Exactly like during the fuel protests of twenty years ago, the only thing stopping supplies being available is panic buying and hoarding. Shopping responsibly can mean everything will be available for more vulnerable people. I’d also like to place on record my thanks and recognition for how hard staff at our local supermarkets have been working during this very challenging last couple of weeks for them.
If we move to the stage where over-70s are advised to stay home for an extended period to protect their health, then we need to be there for them. Knowing Crawley as I do, I know we will be.
Councillor Duncan Crow, Leader of Crawley Borough Council Conservative Group
18th March 2020