For locals only

It’s Good Friday and the Prime Minister appears to be on the mend. He’s out of intensive care although he’s not out of the woods yet.

I was in the woods this morning, bright and early, with the butterflies, bees, blackbirds and buzzards. Surrounded by all this natural beauty but still pondering on today’s headlines.

They’re burying people in mass graves in New York. Hastily dug mass graves. In America. It just doesn’t seem possible.

And then the story about the communities minister who drove 150 miles from London to Herefordshire to be with his wife and children in one of their several homes. It is reported that he also popped over the county border into Shropshire to check on his elderly parents who, apparently, have neighbours doing their essential shopping in any case.

This is the same man who earlier this week was interviewed on Radio 4’s Today programme talking about the vital need to observe the lockdown restrictions.

We’re doing our best here to observe the law, separated from elderly parents, children and grandchildren who live in other parts of the country. The volunteers at the community shop are giving their all to keep us supplied with produce. Mr Grigg is doing a five-hour shift today.

Deliveries are being made to the vulnerable and self-isolating. We’re working together to get through all of this as best as we can.

So it grates when people are seen arriving at their second homes as if this were a normal Easter. It isn’t.

It’s understandable that families might want to flee from the coronavirus capital to the safety of the countryside. I mean, if we were in a disaster movie we would be doing exactly the same. I can’t imagine Keanu Reeves or Dennis Quaid staying put. Where would the story be in it that?

But this is not a story, it’s real life. The rules are very clear. We don’t want you here, at least not yet.

This, from Dorset Police:

Essential travel does not include visits to second homes, camp sites, caravan parks or similar, whether for isolation purposes or holidays. People must remain in their primary residence.

We’ve been given additional powers to fine those refusing to follow Government instructions so please stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.

You might stay indoors in your second home for two weeks but what if you’re already infected and need treatment? Our local hospital is already full of Covid-19 patients.

I wouldn’t say the pitchforks are out yet, but it won’t be long.

That’s about it.

Love Maddie x

By Maddie Grigg

Maddie Grigg is the pen name of former local newspaper editor Margery Hookings. Expect reflections on rural life, community, landscape, underdogs, heritage and folklore. And fun.

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