Opinion: Claps are great, but they deserve more
PUBLISHED: 08:30 09 May 2020
Foremost in this column, I thank all of you who daily go to work, as essential workers, keeping our food shops open and communities safe and functioning.
Particular thanks go to our refuse collectors and street sweepers, without whom our streets would be flooded with vermin, adding to the health problems we’re already fighting.
Each week, I join many of you on doorsteps to Clap for Carers, recognising that every working day they risk their lives caring for the sick or vulnerable: nurses, doctors, ambulance drivers, hospital porters, social care staff and more.
I use a saucepan and spoon to make as much noise as possible, expressing my thanks.
But, when this is over, we cannot forget those we owe a debt of gratitude. Together, we must ensure these workers, essential to our well-being and our collective health, are recognised with more than warm words and handclaps and make sure they are paid salaries and afforded status that acknowledges their true worth.
To pay these workers their due, now, we must honour their request to stay home, unless our work or journey really is essential.
The isolation and restrictions are hard, but are vital.
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One constituent who contacted me recently is a senior NHS nurse.
She was distraught. Every day at work, she puts her life in jeopardy for us all. Yet others are too selfish to stay home.
She wanted my help to explain to her neighbours that weekly gatherings and parties in their gardens are an affront to her courage and selflessness. I hope I, and the local police team, got that message across.
I can only imagine how I would feel, if I were that nurse.
The government tells us the science says we have to stay home. Signs are the UK is past the peak and numbers of infections and deaths will continue falling.
Remember: that won’t happen unless we maintain social distancing.
I’m hopeful that, before any second wave hits, we identify and rectify any mistakes already made.
But, for now, please remember the nurse; play a part to protect lives and our NHS.
Stay Home, Stay Safe.
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