Worksop residents say Government not doing enough about coronavirus

Worksop residents are saying the Government is not doing enough to tackle coronavirus - as children remain in UK schools despite other countries shutting theirs down.

By Ben McVay
Thursday, 19th March 2020, 9:21 am

Worried people in the town told the Worksop Guardian it was concerning that children - who are only mildly affected by the virus for the most part but could pass it on to grandparents - were not being isolated at home.

Countries such as Ireland, Italy and Spain have all gone into lockdown and closed schools however many advisers to the UK Government say closing schools would increase the risk to the elderly - as parents would rely on them even more for childcare.

Maureen Layhe, 75, said she thought PM Boris Johnson had ‘let us down’.

Maureen Layhe

She said: “The Government are not closing things down and saying ‘help yourself’ but people in Worksop are too complacent.

“We’re hearing children could be carrying it but you can’t tell because it’s so mild in them but the Government aren’t shutting schools.

“They seem to think this is just going to come and go but they don’t think about people dying - it’s totally mad.”

Philippa Spalton, 40, said the Government should be doing ‘a lot more than they have’.

David Swain, of Cockney Rebel Fashions

She added: “Kids are the biggest carriers but we are still not closing schools.”

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However Krysten Brown, 18, said there were so many people walking around completely unaware they were already carrying the virus ‘you just cannot stop it’.

She said: “If you’re going to get it you’re going to get it.

John Poxon, of JP Meats

“Self-isolating is a good idea but lots of people are already carrying it before they get ill.

“Until everybody has self-isolated it’s going to keep getting worse.”

Meanwhile Worksop traders spoke of their nervousness about the long-term survival of their businesses.

A member of staff at Piccolos Espresso Bar described the situation as a ‘day-by-day thing’.

Philippa Spalten with Debbie Eagle

He said: “The more negativity there is it will impact people’s behaviour.

“Once they start bringing in restrictions for the over-70s that will cause an impact as a large amount of my customers are over 70.”

John Poxon, of JP Meats, said he had been ‘solidly busy’ as people had been stockpiling food in preparation for the disease’s peak.

He said: “I think it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

“A lot of our customers are quite old so we’re going to do home deliveries.

“We’ve relied on them for trade over the last 15 years so it’s the least we can do - if people are self-isolating we’ll deliver.”

MP Brendan Clarke-Smith

David Swain, manager at Cockney Rebel Fashions, said if independent shops like his were completely shut down they ‘can’t survive’.

He added: “If we’re forced to close how long will that be for?

“Businesses are going to need some help from the Government as the problem for small businesses is cash flow.

“We need cash coming in to cover our overheads - if people do shop they need to shop local to help us.”

Bassetlaw MP Brendan Clarke-Smith told the Guardian the Government ‘has a plan and we’re going to stick to it’.

However he added: “One thing I’m trying to do is encourage people to look after their neighbours - especially if they’re elderly people.

“Obviously we don’t want schools closed because then kids will be at home and other people cannot go to work - which means grandparents are relied upon.

“We don’t want that when children are not in the at-risk group - we’re trying to keep things as normal as possible so people should follow the advice to minimise risk.”

Simon Greaves, leader of Bassetlaw District Council, said: “At this point I want to emphasise people must take note of all Government health guidance.

“People have a responsibility to respond and act on it – they should not ignore the guidance.”

Piccolo Espresso Bar