By Susie Sheldon
Lord Lieutenant of the Isle of Wight
There is no doubt as we face this invisible enemy, Corvid 19, we are lucky to be living in our amazing Island Community. These are worrying and lonely times but the work that is being done all over the Island, to look after the vulnerable and help those, in need is outstanding. I would urge everyone to join in the community effort. If you are isolating at home, pick up the phone and ring someone you know is on their own. Human contact is vital to us all. If you are out on your daily exercise, keep your distance but wave and smile at those you see. We are all in this together.
We have celebrated our NHS and Care workers with our communal applause sessions and these have been deeply moving. We can not thank them too much.
In addition, totally outside the NHS and Care structure, local groups have appeared in every part of the Island to care for their own communities, shopping, collecting prescriptions, providing vital services. And the speed with which these Community Support Groups have been formed and services put in place has been an amazing example of an efficiency under pressure. The hours of voluntary service those involved are giving is truly magnificent.
Our medical services, emergency services, IW Council, service providers, local businesses, transport, and indeed all those who serve our community, are continuing to work to get us through this period and are adapting to completely unprecedented circumstances. I thank them for the flexibility they are showing and their ability to adapt.
Local businesses face a difficult time but are working in any way they can to help. Locally produced food has never been so valuable and I know the producers are doing their utmost to get it out to all sectors of the community.
We can all help at this time by taking the responsibility to look after our own health in order not to put others at risk. Follow the guidelines and remember that at present that recommends one period of daily exercise. Please use it wisely and responsibly.
We are privileged to live on a beautiful island and however difficult these next few months may be, what I am seeing in our community is inspiring. We will emerge at the end of this as a strong caring community.
Photo of our community clapping, credit: Graham Reading