A Word from our Chair

With relentless media coverage of the grim realities of the current pandemic, our Committee Chair, Sheila Mitchell, has been keen to stress the importance of staying strong, looking out for each other and remaining positive in the face of adversity. So, we asked her to write a blog for us. Her words are below.

As a nonagenarian, it seems that I am very likely to be written off and while this may turn out to be true, I very much object to being made to live my last days in a state of misery. Of course I appreciate the situation is serious, but if we follow the advice about soap and water and hand gel and do not unnecessarily expose ourselves to germ-ridden situations, we should also look for ways to diminish the misery of isolation.

Look back at history and consider how much worse it was to catch one of the many plagues which were almost universally deadly, or nearer our time – and one I vividly remember – the Second World War, when the chances of extinction during the blitz or from doodle-bugs cutting out directly overhead, were a strong possibility. We, whatever our age, did not hide ourselves away. We got on with whatever was required of us and sought shelter at the height of an air-raid – many not even then, as they carried on as air-raid wardens, fire-watchers and ambulance drivers etc.

It seems that isolation plans are being put in place in order not to overwhelm the NHS, but please remember solitary confinement is one of the most stringent methods of punishment in our criminal system. Keep in (safe) contact with your grannies and grandpas, your uncles and aunts and do not allow them to wither away in dejected heaps. Let’s face the uncertainty together and at least hope for as cheerful a way through as possible!

Sheila Mitchell