The cowboys in government have abandoned us to Covid – letter to the editor and a call to action

Photo by Robin Ooode on Unsplash

Dear West Country Voices,

I couldn’t believe my ears this week when the Government announcement came about the withdrawal of the measures to help protect the public against the dangers of Covid, by 27 January. In reality, rather than an announcement, it was in fact the complete disownment of the English people by the cowboys calling themselves collectively ‘the Government’.

My immediate thoughts ran along the lines of: “well if the Government reneges on its responsibility, it’s up to us – both individually and collectively – to pick up the gauntlet and provide that care and guidance”.

I decided to start writing emails to those whom I thought had a role to play in looking after the people. Amongst others, I decided that since supermarkets play such a large part in our lives, and we in turn provide them with profits and power, they were one of the targets I should aim for. This is part of the email I sent to CEOs of eight supermarket chains:

“You are aware of the Government announcement this week of the withdrawal of measures to protect against the spread of Covid. Supermarkets are very much part of our communities, with individuals and groups often quite dependent on them. With this role comes a responsibility beyond that of just a retailer. The customers, when they visit your premises, come under your care. This not only means the shelves are stacked safely, but that the whole experience of being in your store is a safe one.

As you are no doubt aware, in opposition to the Government, scientists do not believe that Covid has gone away, nor should it be ‘swept under the carpet’. They are not confident that when people enter and mingle in your store, there is no danger that a Covid bug is lurking there or has been brought in by another customer – and in all honesty, neither can you have such confidence.

With your role in caring, I am asking you to think about the Government’s decision. In the recent past, some stores have indeed followed their own conscience, thinking the Government action ill-advised. I am appealing to you to “think customers first,” by reducing as much as possible the likelihood of people catching Covid in your stores. Insist all customers wear masks (apart from those medically exempt), and ban entry to your premises to those who possibly endanger others by refusing to comply. Keep all the sanitising stations. Insist the staff wear masks and do everything to safeguard others. By doing this, supermarkets will prove they really do care about their customers and communities.

Surely, continuing with these sensible measures has more merit than learning of those people (including possible customers) who’ve fallen ill, suffered or even died from Covid”.

I am also sending emails of a similar nature to West Country MPs, local politicians and other organisations who have (or should have) a role in caring for the people.

I am not the only person appalled by the Government’s announcement regarding Covid: several of my neighbours, several friends and acquaintances (including some on social media) have expressed the intention of ‘putting pen to paper’. Perhaps readers of West Country Voices could or should do the same?