‘Business as usual’- Butcher refusing to join national ‘paranoia’ over coronavirus
PUBLISHED: 17:00 12 March 2020 | UPDATED: 17:04 12 March 2020
A defiant Norfolk butcher has said he will not be “whipped up into paranoia” over the coronavirus.
Richard Gill, who runs a butchers on High Street in Downham Market, said he has not seen a decline in customers just yet and will continue to run business as normal.
The 56-year-old said: 'I mean it is all a touch subdued at the moment and I don't know why that is. I don't think it's to do with the coronavirus.
'It's business as usual at the moment, but because it has not been that close to home and people are looking at it like it's quite far away, attitudes might change if it gets closer.'
The butcher, who has a top hygiene rating of five, said he is following government advice and is hoping to remain open.
He added: 'I do wash my hands between each customer.
'I'm hoping it won't come to the point I will have to close, I'm playing it by ear.
'It's like in Italy. They're going through a lot but the food shops are staying open. You need food.'
There are no cases of coronavirus in Norfolk.
Mr Gill said: 'I think the elderly and those with slight illnesses should be careful.
'Personally for me, I'm not going to get whipped up into the paranoia of it all. If you're fit and healthy I don't think you should be worried.
'Although I must admit I was going to visit my parents, who are in their 80s, the other week and I thought no I won't do that and I'll put it off to another time.
'So there is a bit of a thought in the back of your mind.'
Downham Market Town council issued a message earlier this week calling on members of the community to 'behave sensibly' and be mindful of those less fortunate in the town, in light of stockpiling taking place across the country.
Bridge Street Surgery have also taken measures as a result of the latest guidelines from NHS England.
The practice said on its Facebook page that they had temporarily turned off online booking in order that the 'reception team can triage potential contagious illnesses, and direct them to the most appropriate form of care.'