COVID in Havering – Reality and Hope

It is clear, that like the rest of the country, local people in Cranham and Upminster have differing opinions on the current pandemic and the level of restrictions that should be in place. As a community, we need to support both local businesses and the health of local people, which is a difficult thing to do, when putting more emphasis on one can adversely affect the other.

Whatever your viewpoint, the one thing that is certain is that the more we, as individuals and as a community, follow the official guidance, whether it is the wearing of facemasks, maintaining social distancing or other recommended measures, the less likely we or those around us are to catch COVID-19.

The less people who catch it, the less who will become ill, whether mildly or seriously, and the less people who will unfortunately die. It is also true that the less people who catch it, the less restrictions we will have on our daily lives and the sooner our local businesses can get back to normal. Put simply, it is a win, win situation if we all work together.

The Government regularly release figures on coronavirus infection rates and, as of today (16 December 2020), we have the fourth highest rates (per 100,000 people) of any local authority area in England. We have also had over 400 deaths this year in Havering of people with COVID-19.

However, there is hope. The Queen’s Hospital have commenced vaccinating local care home and other vulnerable frontline staff. In the near future the vaccination program will expand, firstly to the most vulnerable and then onto all of us in the wider community. Whether everyone is willing to be vaccinated is a matter of personal choice, but, again, the more of us who do, the less who will become ill and the sooner we and our local businesses can start to get back to normal.

Havering Council have released a short video, made by Louise Roast, Head of Bereavement and Registration Services for the borough. I would urge everyone to view it and pass the link on to the people you know.

I cannot attempt to change the opinion of those who are actively against taking any precautions against COVID. But for those of us who have been doing our best all year to keep ourselves and those around us as safe as possible, I would urge you not to let your guard down now.

Lets keep safe this Christmas, so we can have a truly Happy New Year in 2021!

Cllr John Tyler

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