Publication deadlines mean that as I write this, the Prime Minister remains in intensive care and we await the next bulletin on his condition in the hope of better news, and that he makes a full recovery.
Yet while Mr. Johnson is among the highest profile victims of the pandemic so far, sadly, I suspect many reading this will know someone close to them who has experienced mild, severe or, worst of all, the fatal consequences of Covid-19. If we did not know it before, it is perhaps the starkest evidence of just how random the coronavirus is, how serious the predicament in which we now find ourselves and how critical it is that we all pull together to get through it.
This fast-moving pandemic is confronting us with different challenges at breath-taking speed. Yet, one of the most often asked questions revolves around testing. Have we done enough? Could we have been better prepared?
I’m not qualified to say if 10 thousand, 250 thousand or a million is enough tests for Covid-19 or, (aside from with the police) how much personal protection equipment (PPE) is needed now or in the future, My question is do we have enough and if not, what’s the plan? How do we cope and how can we help?
“Right now, it’s difficult to look on the bright side”
This coronavirus is not a police emergency, it is a health emergency; but I have no doubt the police in Gloucestershire will do their duty and excel. Then, in the fullness of time, the Chief Constable and I will be held accountable for how we responded.
As your Police & Crime Commissioner, I must declare my personal position and being honest, right now I’m finding it difficult to look on the bright side.
Whilst I am optimistic about my personal future, I am also aware ‘I could be next’. I feel uneasy about enjoying my garden in the glorious sunshine when others have no garden or are facing hardship. For many, the outlook is grim and our local NHS and our way of life in general face unprecedented challenges.
We should be thankful we live in a ‘Green and pleasant county’, but still respect, absolutely, the discipline of social distancing; and while we celebrate all that makes Gloucestershire good, take time to think or pray for those who will risk their lives for us and hope for a brighter future.