EDP says: self-sacrifice is the way to beat Covid (and save Christmas)

Shoppers in Norwich staying safe in face masks.
Picture: Sonya Duncan

Shoppers in Norwich staying safe in face masks. Picture: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Today we are halfway through this circuit-breaker lockdown.

But, to be brutally frank, the results so far are disheartening. We have to hope that the second half sees a huge improvement, with infection rates falling across Norfolk and Waveney.

That is where we all come in.

For the time has come for us to stop playing the Covid blame game.

We can point fingers at the lockdown breakers, who have friends over for a few beers, or fail to wear a mask in Tesco, or do not use hand sanitiser.

We can tut at the parents who gather by the school gate, and shake our heads at those who drive 40 miles for a walk on the beach.

But when we point a finger, three fingers are pointing back at ourselves - and they should be a blunt reminder of the role we have to play.

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For the only way that we will edge away from the coronavirus cliff is by taking individual responsibility. We cannot force others to obey, but we can discipline ourselves to do so.

Each of us should have the voice of conscience in our heads, saying: “Do you need to...?”

Do you need to linger in the supermarket aisle because your head has been turned by a book or a Christmas decoration to go with your essential groceries?

Do you need to go out for two walks today?

Do you need to stop to chat with your friends in the park?

If we listen to the voice, we will pare back our lives to the essentials: sacrificing the icing on life’s cake for the greater good.

It sounds simplistic, but if everybody stuck to the rules, then coronavirus would be on the run. It is only when we take risks that the virus can take liberties.

Today we report on how life in Wymondham is going on fairly normally, despite Wymondham West, with a rate of 987.1 cases per 100,000 people, having the 24th highest rate in England and Wymondham East and Spooner Row a rate of 763.8 cases per 100,000 people - the 107th highest out of 6,791 areas.

Many would say it “doesn’t feel like a lockdown”.

Is that why - as we hear happening at Beccles Medical Centre - people think that it is okay to be abusive to NHS staff, rather than give them a clap?

There are also suggestions that we need Covid marshals at the school gate, to police social distancing among parents and children.

And others seems more fixated with their right to have a “proper” family Christmas, than with thoughts of the many whose festive season has been devastated by the death of a loved one.

We are not at the centre of the universe - we are individual players in a game of life and death.

To mangle the words of John F Kennedy: “Ask not what your neighbours should do to stop Covid, ask what you can do to stop Covid.”

So let’s summon up the collective will to advance slowly against Covid-19, through relentless acts of self-sacrifice and rule-keeping.

You never know, it might save Christmas.

What you do know, is that it will save lives.

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