David Duguid MP – Notes from Westminster on Coronavirus

Local MP David Duguid writes about the current and ongoing Coronavirus pandemic
David Duguid MP

Our daily life is changing in ways that just a few weeks ago many might have found unimaginable.

Many of our children will have had their last day of school until after summer, with exams cancelled in Scotland for the first time since 1888.

Some schools are remaining open but only for vulnerable children or those with parents employed as key workers.

Support worth hundreds of billions of pounds has been announced to prop up the economy and ensure our NHS has the resources it needs to combat the outbreak.

Many people are either self-isolating or working from home to try to slow the spread of the virus.

On Friday, pubs, restaurants and cinemas were among venues told to close their doors as social distancing measures were stepped up.

And new protections were introduced for workers – including an unprecedented commitment to cover the cost of 80% of all wages – up to a cap of £2,500/month.

The sums of money being discussed are mind-boggling and it is difficult to under-estimate the impact this will have on the global economy.

But, amidst all the activity, there are already signs our local communities are rising to the challenge.

You can see from the My Turriff webpages and on Facebook just how many local organisations and businesses are doing what they can to help.

My own office team based in Banff has been operating a helpline system for the past week to direct constituents to available support or to carry out basic tasks like collecting prescriptions for those that are self-isolating at home.

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It is exactly this kind of communal effort that will be required to get the country through this challenge.

The Prime Minister has often talked in his daily addresses to the public in recent days that we are effectively on a “war footing”.

It is difficult to make any comparison with events such catastrophic events as world wars in which so many millions of lives were lost.

But there is no other time in our recent history when the public have made the kind of sacrifices that the government is now asking of us.

I would urge everyone to refrain from stockpiling.

Supermarkets can keep up with normal demand. However, when people bulk buy, then we will see empty shelves.

My message is to please think of others, especially the vulnerable and elderly.

We will all face considerable challenges over the coming weeks and months, but if we help one another, we will get through it.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with my office if you need, or indeed can offer, any assistance – on david.duguid.mp@parliament.uk or 01261 818744

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