CORONAVIRUS MESSAGE TO CONSTITUENTS - 12 MAY 2020
I have been posting the many statements and guidance from the Government on the Coronavirus crisis on my web-site and these can be seen at: https://www.blunt4reigate.com/covid-19-coronavirus-updates
As we enter a new phase of the response to the Coronavirus epidemic, I am mindful that for some this might appear to be a difficult and potentially confusing time because more of our individual judgments about what is reasonable and sensible will be necessary.
It would be easier to stick to the simple primary message of ‘stay at home.’ However, we must move out of a comprehensive lockdown at some point and the balance of the best assessments of the best-equipped people to judge that time is that we should start this now.
The necessity of securing the contribution to our social and economic well-being of those unable to work from home returning to their vast variety of workplaces safely, as soon as is reasonably possible, is self-evident. We are going to have to apply reasonable judgment millions of times over about how to manage this across all our work settings. Guidance from the Government cannot specify every single action or restriction across the entire social economy and it is now necessary for us to use our reasonable discretion in applying restrictions on our behaviour to be consistent with the objectives of policy, which has to balance the risk from the virus with the risk of economic paralysis.
Government guidance is based on a complex assessment of risk and calculated judgement, based on incomplete and complex evidence with two underlying and potentially contradictory objectives.
The first is to protect as many people as possible from contracting and spreading the virus to ensure that we do not have a second wave of infections, overwhelm the NHS, and trigger an unacceptable death toll. The second is to ensure that society and the economy, in particular, are able to resume safe activities as soon as possible. It is clear that the repercussions of the damage to the British and global economies as a result of this pandemic will be far and wide-reaching, and the more we can do to mitigate its effects by returning to production in a safe manner, the less long-term damage will be done.
Rather than complaining that there are complicated choices to be made and that every single contingency is not specifically addressed in the guidance, we must all take responsibility for our own actions, and make sensible and reasonable judgements about what is and what is not appropriate behaviour, based on the guidance that has been given.
My office is continuing to receive a large number of constituent enquiries relating to various impacts of the current situation. We are making every effort to respond to all of these but please remember that we will, out of necessity, be prioritising the most urgent and important of these and may not be able to respond quickly to questions that have already been answered in Government papers and press releases. These can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Finally, I would like to thank all my constituents for their patience, forbearance, and commitment to the national effort to conquer this epidemic. Whist my sincere sympathies go out to all who have lost loved ones to the disease, this common effort has undoubtedly contributed to the management of the local death toll from COVID 19 and has enabled our local hospitals and ambulance services to avoid being overwhelmed. Not one local hospitalised COVID 19 patent has had to be transferred to an out-of-area ITU.