Fenland Citizen letters – May 20, 2020
Tommy has a heart of gold
Here in the Fen ‘township’ of Manea during this tragic ‘lock-in’, we are fortunate to have our own ‘Colonel Tom’ in the guise of Tommy Savage, a local businessman running his own, small construction firm.
This great character, even though he is so busy with building houses and running his business, always finds time to check on all of us elderly ones in the village.
He personally visits us, making sure all is well and whether we need shopping, etc.
As well as that, Tommy constantly produces boxes of fresh vegetables, sausage packs, etc, all of it entirely free.
Tommy has a heart of pure gold and has shown it to be so constantly.
Over my 30 years in retirement here, being a Royal Navy pensioner, Tommy and his team immediately clears the pathways in front of all the pensioners’ front doors when the first snowfall arrives.
During this recent, terrible ‘virus plague, Tommy and his ‘boys’ constantly check up on us to make certain that we are all okay for any shopping, as well as delivering ‘goodie’ bags to us all.
It means so very much to those of us who are getting on a bit to have such marvellous help over these most trying times, with the supply of such wonderful boxes of veggies, etc, without ever being asked for a penny for anything.
It is truly magnificent and even last winter, Tommy paid for every pensioner to have a hot breakfast and luncheon at the Skylark Garden Centre, Wimblington, for what was a truly remarkable offer of such kindness to us ‘oldies’.
In this presently sad world of uncertainty, we are so truly blessed to have dear old ‘Colonel’ Tommy Savage taking such magnificent care of us and I would dearly wish for him to be recognised for all of his truly magnificent care and concern for his community over so many years.
It has certainly spanned the past 20 years, to the best of my personal knowledge.
We managed to get him to Her Majesty’s Garden Party in the past year, but I feel that surely no one has ever deserved recognition more than our own, dear Tommy Savage.
May God bless him for his heart of gold because no one could serve his community better, or more loyally.
Where did it all begin?
The next big talking point is going to be all about how and where the coronavirus began.
First, it was that a man had killed a pangolin, ate it and became patient zero (PZ). Then came the claims that it started in a wet market in Wuhan where someone ate a snake, or a fish or something, and again become PZ.
Then it was blamed on a person getting bitten by an infected bat and, again, it was claimed they were PZ. But there is a serious question concerning all three scenarios in that if the coronavirus began that way, then surely it would have happened time and again.
We would have had hundreds of pandemics caused this way and, as we believed in the early days of COVID-19, the disease would have been utterly ruthless and would have killed without discrimination
But it isn’t!
The numbers of black, Asian and minority ethnic deaths relating to C-19 would has been higher than in Caucasian people and the experts blame it on poverty, life chances and health care. But if that was the case, then why are we losing so many people from the BAME (Black, Asian, and minority ethnic) working as medical personnel, doctors, surgeons and consultants to the infection?
They aren’t deprived.
So many well-educated, well-trained and well-paid heroes have died to save us, so the randomness that is being attributed to the coronavirus doesn’t quite hold up.
Then you have the other side’s version...
A group of scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology were actually carrying out coronavirus tests on bats in their labs – it is fact – and an accident happened, leaving a scientist either bitten by, or sprayed with the blood from an infected creature.
She did not follow WHO rules on decontamination, left work, then went to a wet market to buy her tea, maybe dropping blood on the animals, a start to the infection. Then it is claimed that she went back to her home, infected her partner and between them they started the pandemic.
I do not know the truth, I am not writing a factual account of what happened, I have had space in my brain to look at everything.
All we know for a fact is that the Chinese authorities tried to cover it up. But, it was only after the whistleblowing from the now deceased Dr Li Wenliang, that China admitted the infection was real.
Until the truth comes out, China will owe the rest of the world quadrillions!
Have cake and eat it
With no vaccine, the Government is reliant on containing any local outbreaks. But the problem is that even with the extra testing that has been put in place over the past month, there are big holes in the UK’s ability to suppress the virus.
It takes too long to get test results back – several days in some cases – and those most in need of regular testing (I believe we all are), such as care home staff for example, are still reporting that they cannot always access tests.
Meanwhile, the Chinese city of Wuhan is drawing up plans to test its entire population of 11 million people for COVID-19.
Our ability to trace the close contacts of infected people remains unknown, while the piloting of the system, which involves the use of an app and an army of contact tracers, has just started on the Isle of Wight.
It means we are effectively fighting this invisible killer with one hand behind our back.
We are not alone in struggling. Similar problems are being encountered by other countries. But we are still some way behind the best prepared and equipped, such as Germany and South Korea.
Could it be any different? Should it be any different? Some argue we were too slow to react to the growing threat. For example, the UK largely relied on a network of eight government testing labs for the best part of two months following the first diagnosed coronavirus case.
Eventually other partners were brought on board, but it meant until late April we were still only able to do 25,000 tests a day. The care sector, for example, believes more should have been done to protect care homes.
Then – on the flip side – there are the difficulties the lockdown itself is causing. It has had a huge economic and social impact, as well as harming health asreferrals for cancer care are down, while visits to A&E have dropped by a half since the epidemic started.
It means the initial reaction to the statement – the Government is planning to publish more detailed guidance about its plans on Monday – is one of frustration, certainly in the scientific and medical community.
Prof Trish Greenhalgh, a health care expert from the University of Oxford, perhaps best sums it up. She is worried we could now find ourselves in the “worst of both words” by both trying to move forward and kick-start the economy (by encouraging people to return to work), while maintaining that the lockdown is effectively still in place.
Employers will not yet have worked out how social distancing can be incorporated into everyday life, while it’s not clear how the public transport system can cope with more passengers given the reduction in service that has been seen during lockdown. It is, “have cake and eat it”.
Forecast was so wrong
I am furious with Look East and Anglia ITV weather forecasts. On Sunday, May 10 they said East Anglia would be fine with a shower of rain on Wednesday and the rest of the week it would get warmer and be fine.
On Wednesday there was no shower of rain over the Chatteris area and they then forecast Thursday and Friday would be frosty.
Consequently, on Wednesday at 9pm my wife and I are digging up all the plants we had recently planted and re-planting them up in pots to keep safe in the conservatory.
So, to cut a long story short, can I just say: “Can you learn to forecast the weather?”
As advised by a member of the public, I shall now watch the UK Shipping Forecast instead – that is 98% acurate.
Neighbours raised cash for hospital
We the Grangers would like to thank our opposite neighbours the Gilmurrays fir their dedication on Friday and Saturday, May 8 and 9, in raising £152.56 for the NHS during VE Day celebrations.
Both of our bungalows were covered in flags and bunting for the occasion but they went that one step further for the NHS.
We would also say a big thank you to all the walkers, joggers, cyclists, bus driver, police car and even a tipper truck for being so generous.
Those who didn’t have money on them while out doing their daliy exercise even came back a second time with money, or called back in their cars on Saturday, just to donate.
Well done everyone! The money was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Eileen and John Granger