Bildeston Bugle – Ed’s comment (August)

At the end of July, Government help, including food parcels and medication deliveries, will be stopped to those who are shielding. Many of those affected might have already received a letter from Government explaining the changes.

Much more publicly were the announcements about the re-opening of pubs, hairdressers and barbers, museums, galleries and a wider range of sports. At the same time details were given about which foreign countries can be visited with the government using a traffic light system to describe places of high, medium and low risk.

This is the easing of ‘lockdown’ we have waited for. The easing of restrictions on going out, meeting up with loved ones and friends in social settings and returning to our places of work and leisure. But easing lockdown is not without risk.

It is the concept of ‘risk’ that we have to get our heads round from this point on. Life is full of risk, the world is full of risk. All different kinds of risk. Without wishing to sound negative or a doom monger, the moment we step out of our homes, we are open to risks. Actually, we don’t have to step out of our homes, according to ROSPA in the UK every year, almost 6,000 people die in home accidents and 2.7million visit their local accident and emergency departments after accidents at home. People who spend more of their time at home suffer proportionally more accidental injuries.

You can’t win, can you? Stay at home and suffer a terrible accident, or go outside and catch Covid!! Since birth we have coped with risk, sometimes consciously and sometimes not.

The difference is knowledge, understanding and preparation. When you know what the risks are, you can behave accordingly. Going out in the winter cold, we wrap up warm. Sunbathing in a very hot climate, we apply sun cream with a high UV factor. In the car we put on our seatbelt. On a motorbike we wear leathers and a crash helmet. Simple examples, but they make the link between understanding what the risks might be and what we can do to help minimise them. They are good examples because we might still fall off our bike, or have a crash in the car, but the chances of surviving are greatly increased due to us taking the right safety precautions.

So it is with Coronavirus. The fact is the virus will stay here along with the other viruses in the corona ‘family’, like the common cold and types of flu. We just have to understand, and put in place, what the best precautions will be to help us manage the risk and carry on with our lives. Certainly the regular thorough washing of hands has to continue and now the wearing of face masks in certain situations. Face masks may well become as normal in the UK as they are across the far East.

Mark Murphy held an interesting interview on BBC Suffolk recently with someone comparing people’s behaviour in Leicester and Suffolk. In Leicester there seemed to have been much less social distancing whereas here people seemed to take it far more seriously. It’s our behaviour that will determine to what extent the virus will impact, so making some basic changes to the way we behave will help keep us safe.

Talking of Mark Murphy (BBC Suffolk presenter) look out for him judging the village scarecrow competition.