The very sad news that the Prime Minister has been admitted to hospital this week to support him in his fight against the Coronavirus has brought home to many the seriousness of this virus and the reason why such drastic steps have been necessary to bring it under control. The virus is indiscriminate, and the conditions can be quite variable. While the vast majority of people will usually experience symptoms similar to flu and come through within a week, in some cases there are more complications. The Prime Minister is a fighter and I am sure he will pull through this with the fabulous support of our NHS and we all wish him a speedy recovery so that he can take the helm again.
The better news is that the measures that have been taken are starting to have an impact. The numbers of people using public transport and in public places has fallen sharply and people are needing advice not to travel unnecessarily. As a result, while there is still a tragic daily rise in both new cases and, sadly, deaths, the growth in the number of cases is moving in a more linear way rather than the exponential growth that is a normal in an epidemic like this where there is no immunity in the population. This is important because the concern all along had been that an exponential growth in cases would lead to very high numbers of hospital admissions and overwhelm our NHS. At the moment, the growth in the number of cases, while placing a pressure on our hospitals is within the levels that have been comprehensively planned for in recent weeks and months.
Last Sunday the Queen also addressed the nation as the country continues to grapple with the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic. The Queen acknowledged the challenging time that many are experiencing and paid tribute to all those who are working on the front line, giving themselves selflessly as we work to return to more normal times.
The social distancing measures put in place are obviously very difficult for everyone. It has had a severe impact in many sectors of the economy that have had to close and with some beautiful weather last weekend it is hard for people to be staying at home. However, it is important that we all try to limit our social interaction, maintain distance wherever possible and go out for exercise but limit the time we spend away from home. This will remain important as we approach the Easter weekend in order to ensure we continue to suppress the spread of the virus. Easter is traditionally a time when families come together or even travel away for a nice break and it will be difficult for many to be separated from their family and relatives this year. We have all had to get much more used to using digital technology to keep in touch or even the old fashioned phone and that will remain the case for now.