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Hebden Bridge and the coronavirus

From Arla R

Monday, 16 March 2020

I know most people are scared for loved ones, if not themselves, in this time of covid-19 pandemic.

It was unfortunate that while I was shopping in HB this morning there were people working in shops who were spreading alarmist disinformation.  Certainly not in every shop, and most people have been much more sensible.  But just to ask, please, if you are in a public facing role like shop or cafe work, be careful of the facts if you're going to talk about the virus and the government response.

In particular today some of the misinformation was that over 70s will have to totally self-isolate for four months.  No reputable news source is reporting this, so please, don't scare others with it!

Other misinformation going round includes that it will be at least 18 months before a vaccine is developed and tested.  But in fact this week New Scientist magazine (a good source of quality information, if you need one!) has an article outlining several lines of vaccine research taking place, and scientists are certain there will be at least two vaccines ready by December/January at the latest.  Yes, it likely misses the peak of cases, but it's way sooner than 18 months.

Another line of misinformation is that people who have had Covid-19 won't have natural immunity to catching it again.  There is no reliable information to support this, and no one has been known to have it more than once, so far, including in places like Wuhan where exposure is or has been unavoidable.

Someone else emailed round a video apparently claiming that iodine and vitamin C will protect you or cure you from Covid-19.  That would be nice, but honestly I wouldn't rely on it!

We all need to take responsibility not just for things like hand washing, but for what information we pass on to others, especially those of us working directly with the public. Spreading scare stories helps no one, but responding with compassionate firmness to quash concerns with no factual basis is a positive step we can all take to help each other through this.

From Graham Barker

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

I'd hesitate to criticise anyone for spreading misinformation if I wasn't personally qualified to tell them they were wrong. We're in a fast-moving, historically unprecedented situation so it may be wiser to let people say and believe whatever they want, because they (and perhaps we) will be saying and believing something different in a week's time.

From Vivienne  H

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Neither the national nor the local government appear to be setting up a system whereby people self-isolating, because they're in a high-risk group,  can obtain a supply of household essentials. 

Can we do something perhaps via this forum? Not everyone uses social media platforms. 

I will be calling local supermarkets to see if they're willing to set aside certain times for vulnerable groups to shop. If they're amenable, I'll post again here, but it would be helpful if CMBC could bulk-buy & arrange distribution for residents less capable of wrestling for the last loo roll. 

From Mark Astbury

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Why is the local surgery still not taking repeat prescription requests by telephone? The online login is so arcane I have exhausted the number of resets I'm allowed. So I have to go into the surgery to make the request on a piece of paper that has been in my wallet for 3 months. In contrast the Doctors' surgery on a remote Scottish island I know is only accepting repeat requests by phone and making appointments by phone so as to reduce the footfall through the surgery during this difficult time.

From Andy G

Friday, 20 March 2020

I was able to renew my prescription by phone today although, not surprisingly in the circumstances, I had to wait a good 15 minutes for my call to be answered. The poor staff at the surgery must be snowed-under at the moment.

From Roz Roberts

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Please,please heed the medical and Government advice to " social distance" and stay at home unless absolutely necessary. Please do this for all our sakes and to slow down the spread of the virus. Our medical services are working at very the edge of what we should expect of them and so easily could be overwhelmed. 

If you care about others, please make this personal sacrifice

From Guy L

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

In these ever changing times, it's difficult to keep track of which local businesses are still operating. So, the Old People's Welfare Committee has created an online directory for Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd.

From Vivienne  H

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Both Tesco & Sainsbury's in Halifax now have dedicated hours for vulnerable groups, though the Sainsbury's slot follows one allocated for NHS workers. M & S also have an hour on some days.

There doesn't seem to be anything in place for reliable home deliveries of essentials, so people in groups with an elevated risk of a fatal outcome should they contract the virus, are going to have to keep going out & shopping for themselves, as far as I know.

Hope somebody will tell me I'm wrong...