On New Years’ Eve 2019, authorities in China reported to the World Health Organisation a new and unusual virus infecting parts of the population in the city of Wuhan. Soon after, the city and the country went into isolated lockdown.
Now, just two and a half months later, this virus has spread around the world, and governments are introducing emergency measures to try to contain a form of Coronavirus called Covid-19.
As I write this, the Italian Government has placed much of northern Italy into a month long enforced quarantine. No sport, no large gatherings, no non-essential travel.
Sixteen million people, including those in the country’s largest finance centre, Milan, effectively paralysed.
If the spread in the UK develops in a similar fashion, which many experts are saying is likely, then similar restrictions could happen in this country.
We are now in meteorological Spring. Usually a time of getting out and about after the cold of winter, a time of socialising, going away on breaks, gathering for barbecues and so on. This Spring may be different.
Sports events may be cancelled or played behind closed doors. People may be forced to stay at home or work from home. Supplies may be limited. Streets may be empty. We may be about to witness what may become known as The Silent Spring.
The effects are already affecting us. Hand washing and disinfection, mindless panic buying, supply shortages from affected countries, and self-isolation taking hold.
What happens over coming weeks will affect everyone, and if the worst happens, I have no doubt that the British Bulldog spirit attitude to emergencies will shine through.
Businesses need to plan now for the worst. Can people work remotely, if so what can they do? For some this is an easy task, for others not so much so. Whatever measures are imposed on us, we must follow them, and we will get through this crisis.
This week I visited a company. The sign on the door said “In order to protect our employees, due to Coronavirus we will not shake your hand. Do not be offended”. I entered and was greeted with a hand out to shake mine. Please remember that infection control only works if you follow your own rules, or those of others. We must follow what the authorities tell us to do.
Rachel Carson, in her book, coincidentally called The Silent Spring, said that “In nature nothing exists alone.” Life will go on, with diseases and viruses such as Covid-19. We may just have to put some of our usual life on hold temporarily. We will overcome this crisis.
If you or your employees do have to self isolate, and they only have limited work they can do whilst in isolation, use it as an opportunity to develop your team for after the crisis. E-learning courses is a great way of doing that. KSH Safety Services can not only advise businesses remotely on a lot of issues, but we can also offer you around 100 e-learning courses on subjects that include many business skills, health awareness, food hygiene as well as health and safety. You can try any before you buy.
Use the Silent Spring as an opportunity, you and your business may come out of it stronger.
INFECTION CONTROL e-learning course.
CPD approved. £25+VAT
With COVID-19 strain of Coronavirus spreading across the population, find out tips and ideas on controlling infection spread. Written for the health and social care sector, but useful to anyone. Click here
Update: 13 April 2020
The Silent Spring by Kevin Heywood 13 April 2020
A virus from China has invaded our spaces; At first it was cruise ships in far away places. People quarantined upon their return, For many at this point, this was not a concern.
Then we were told to use soap, water or gel, To avoid shaking hands, so we can stay well. Fears of a lockdown meant empty shelves, Showed us all up as very selfish selves.
A run on loo roll, on essentials and food, Something was happening that was changing our mood.
The virus was spreading from person to person. First one death then more right across our nation. Then Boris spoke out, in a serious tome, We must all save lives, we must all stay at home.
Many were furloughed, many were scared. Our lives locked away, our living deferred. From Zoom calls to clapping on Thursday nights, Life as we knew it had gone from our sights.
No pubs, no restaurants, no nightclubs, no church. No traffic, no aircraft, no days out or sport. Everything normal all gone with no thought.
All kept at home, or 2 metres apart, All to protect us, and our nations’ heart. To save our key workers, and to keep us from harm.
Spring has arrived, but it is like no other.
We’re apart but together as we help one another. The streets are all silent, surreal and unknown, And many are separated from family all alone.
But thank God for the birds, singing away Showing life goes on all through the day. Nesting and twittering, still on the wing Breaking the monotony of our Silent Spring.
The Earth it has spoken, it’s given us a chance By showing us how we can save it at a glance. A new normal is needed, we have a kick start, Now is the time to start acting smart.
A virus so small, but we will overcome, It will be difficult for some, Take this new normal and stay home we must do, To save our lives, our health, and our planet too.
©️Kevin Heywood 2020