Rushcliffe MP Ruth Edwards writes this letter to the residents of Rushcliffe.
Life for all of us has dramatically changed over this last week.
Countries are closing their borders, businesses across the country are closing their doors. Not forever, but for the foreseeable future.
On Monday night, the Prime Minister set out an unprecedented package of movement restrictions and shop closures for the whole country.
We all now need to stay at home unless we are shopping for essentials, attending a medical appointment, caring for a vulnerable person, taking daily exercise or travelling to work if we are designated as a ‘key worker’- here or absolutely cannot work from home.
A ban on gatherings of more than two people, excluding those who live in the same house, will now also come into force.
All social events, including weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies have been stopped, but funerals can still take place.
I know some of these measures are a difficult ask and encroach on our freedoms, but they are a necessary response to the biggest threat this country has faced in many decades. They will save lives. Provided everyone listens to them.
Taking these measures seriously will mean that we are able to protect people in our community who are especially vulnerable to the effects of this virus.
It will enable the NHS to cope with the pressures of coronavirus and save more lives.
It will protect you and your loved ones.
I, therefore, ask everyone in Rushcliffe to take these restrictions seriously.
We can beat coronavirus, but only if we work together and look out for each other.
On a positive note. there are so many community groups springing up over Rushcliffe to support vulnerable friends and neighbours.
I want to say a huge thank you to all of you who are working together to help others and to limit the spread of coronavirus in our communities.
Most of all, I want to thank the doctors, nurses, paramedics, pharmacists, care workers and all those working in the NHS, who are on the frontline of this battle.
As I said in Parliament today, when this is over, and it will be over, we must find a way to honour the bravery of all those who have worked tirelessly to help others, at great personal risk to themselves.
This is a dark and difficult time for our county. But we will come through it. It is the compassion, selflessness and courage shown by so many people across our community and our country that gives me hope.
My team and I are working to help all residents of Rushcliffe throughout this crisis. We are responding as quickly as possible to the many questions and concerns you have sent us over the past week. I will be running surgeries on the phone and Skype over this period of lockdown. We are sharing all Government guidance as it becomes available. This can be found on my website www.ruthedwards.org.uk, Twitter: @RuthEdwardsMP and Facebook: fb.com/RuthEdwardsForRushcliffe. Please contact me if you need my help.
Yesterday MPs passed the emergency Coronavirus Bill, which is providing the tools we need to respond effectively to coronavirus. Once the bill has become law, I look forward to coming back to Rushcliffe and volunteering in our community. If you want to volunteer, but aren’t sure how to do so, you can sign up here: https://www.goodsamapp.org/NHS.
Together we will beat coronavirus, we will come through it.
That day will come more quickly if we all listen to the measures announced by the government.
Stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives.