This weekend is our chance to prove we can make a difference to the coronavirus pandemic

Emily Apple

The sun is shining and many of us have been cooped up inside for weeks. The urge to get out, see friends, and resume our normal lives is tempting beyond belief. But this weekend is our chance to prove that every single one of us can make a difference in the fight against coronavirus.

Invisible enemy

It can be hard fighting an invisible enemy. For those of us who aren’t key workers, our fight isn’t on the frontline. We’re not being called up to the beaches or the battlefield. And in some ways, it would be easier if there was a visible enemy we could fight. It would be easier if it didn’t feel like the best action we could take is inaction.

But while invisible, this enemy is very real. As we process the tragic news that on 4 April, a reported further 708 people had died from coronavirus, this is a battle that impacts every one of us.

So this weekend is our opportunity. It’s our chance to show all our fellow citizens that we care enough about each other to do one simple thing – to stay at home. And it’s not just our health that’s at stake, so are our civil liberties – as the Network for Police Monitoring’s (Netpol) coordinator Kevin Blowe tweeted:

A holiday is not essential travel

Police forces across the country are warning that going on holiday is not a good enough excuse to travel. And second homeowners are being told to keep away as Sunday 5 April is set to be the warmest day in six months.

Forces have said they will issue fines and punishments if they see people making non-essential journeys this weekend after health secretary Matt Hancock said the country cannot relax on social distancing, adding: “If we do, people will die.”

Coronavirus
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the country cannot relax on social distancing (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Gloucestershire Police also issued a warning on holidays, saying officers will be stopping people who look like they may be heading away for a few days.

The force said: “there has been particular concern among some communities that people who own second homes in the area will be visiting over the Easter holiday” and visitors will put extra pressure on the local NHS.

Meanwhile, authorities in Wales have closed beach-side car parks to deter people from “using the weather to treat what is a national crisis like a national holiday”.

And Dorset Council is taking a similar approach with the council closing seafront parking bays and stopping the RNLI patrol in an attempt to prevent people from gathering at the seaside.

Stay at home and save the NHS

As The Canary reported on 21 March, tourists are also being asked to stay away from Cornwall and other areas to avoid spreading the virus and putting struggling services under even more pressure.

Cornwall, for example, only has one major hospital that was at breaking point before the pandemic. On 3 January, the BBC stated that Royal Cornwall Hospital was taking the “unprecedented” move of turning away people with minor injuries and the hospital stated that:

We have had patients waiting in the emergency department for beds for up to 12 hours and queues in the corridors

This is the only critical care unit in the region, and that unit only has 15 beds.

This is our chance, let’s take it!

This weekend is our chance to show we care more about our collective health and our civil liberties than our individual needs and desires. Let’s take it. Let’s show we can act together and without coercion to stop the spread of this virus.

So, no excuses. No finding loopholes. No thinking, ‘oh, I’ll just do this’. Or ‘oh, it’s okay I’ll just go there, no-one will know’. This needs all of us to take responsibility and to use our common sense. This might not be the battleground any of would have chosen to fight on. But it’s the one we’ve got. So let’s fight. Stay at home. Save lives.

Additional reporting and featured image via PA

We need your help ...

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.

Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.

We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.

Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?

The Canary Support us
  • Show Comments
    1. There will be those heading out once again onto the roads yet who penned save the NHS hmmm rather strange a Tory telling us that but it will show up that the NHS is a shadow of its former self these lists will tell you tales while the peasants die but to this nurses doctors cleaners cooks all those who got to work under the strain of not having the right equipment I salute you we have left you down by allowing these devils to nearly sell it off

    Leave a Reply

    Join the conversation

    Please read our comment moderation policy here.