50:50 Please Help #ShieldTheElderly & Vulnerable

Frances Scott, Founder & Director 50:50 Parliament  25 March 2020
Frances Scott, Founder 50:50 Parliament,
25 March 2020

My heart goes out to those who are suffering and their families at this dreadful time. I have direct experience of something like Covid- 19 and it is horrific.  My husband died three years ago of flu after he developed complications. I sat with him while he was on a ventilator and life support. He had amazing care in ICU but ultimately did not recover.

I am extremely thankful to the NHS and the skilled staff that cared for Richard. Their dedication is second to none and they are on the front line in this current crisis, fighting coronavirus. But it is not only the doctors and nurses who can make a difference. We all need to work to save lives.

It is our individual acts of kindness that will help combat this lethal virus. We need to work together and take care of each other. Fighting the coronavirus is going to require a major national effort. All of us can make a difference, helping out in our communities. 

In particular it is time to shield our elderly and vulnerable neighbours. We need to support them in staying at home whilst at the same time maintaining social distance from them so that we do not pass on this horrible virus. It is pretty simple, offer to do their shopping. This will prevent them from circulating with other shoppers or coming into contact with the virus when authorising payment by pushing buttons at the check out. It will reduce their chances of catching this highly contagious disease. This small action will help protect our NHS and save lives. 

Some research indicates that the virus lives on plastic for 72 hours. So, just to err on the side of caution, when you kindly deliver the shopping:
– stay two meters away
– make sure that your neighbour takes the shopping in wearing gloves, good old marigolds will do
– ask them to clean all the bits and pieces that you have bought for them
– or leave them in the bag for 3 days to avoid cross contamination.

Other sources suggest that it might live in a freezer for two years. So freezing purchases might cause them to be fatal in future unless everything that goes into the freezer is washed.

When someone is self isolating it is better to be on the safe side, because any steps being taken to avoid the infection are only as good as the weakest link. I have become particularly aware of all the steps required since self isolating with my 96 year old mother in order to care for her. We have had fantastic support from her neighbours, without them it would have been impossible for us to isolate effectively.

So who can you help? Who could you shop for? Who could you phone just to say “hello”?

Now is the time to focus our efforts on helping everyone stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.

And you can sign up here to volunteer to help the NHS: https://www.goodsamapp.org/NHSvolunteerresponders

50:50 Parliament encourages and inspires women to stand for elected office with our #AskHerToStand and #SignUpToStand campaigns. We work with all the political parties to empower women into politics. Our #NewGirlsNetwork will support women along the path to Parliament, so that we have more women at Westminster after the next election.