Coronavirus: What can the public do for those in isolation?

15 March 2020, 09:01 | Updated: 15 March 2020, 09:48

By Seán Hickey

As the elderly in British society prepare for a lockdown, Tom Swarbrick wondered what the public can do to soften the blow of quarantine for the most vulnerable.

Tom was joined by Roy Lilley who is an NHS commentator and a former NHS trust chairman who was sharing his opinions on the government reaction to the spread of Covid-19.

The conversation began with Mr. Lilley sharing with Tom his dismay at how the government is slow to act on sourcing more respirators for the NHS and the sudden declaration of a herd immunity strategy.

Tom posed a question to the commentator about a statement coming from cabinet, whereby the government is asking that "every part of society and every industry to do their part".

He declared that the intention is to ask "the community around people to act and help to keep the vulnerable out of the NHS" so to avoid a stress on hospitals in the UK during the peak outbreak.

The elderly are being advised to self-isolate for the foreseeable future as Covid-19 takes hold
The elderly are being advised to self-isolate for the foreseeable future as Covid-19 takes hold. Picture: PA

"I don't like the language" Mr. Lilley stated, referencing the war like language the government is using around coronavirus. He pointed out that such attitudes may influence the elderly negatively by scaring them into isolation.

Roy Lilley stated that "this is about neighbourliness and how we can cocoon the elderly" and called for the public to be more aware of the most vulnerable in society.

He broke down the government's plan. "The strategy that the NHS has is to have younger, fitter people to catch the virus" in an attempt to gain immunity for those people and avoid a spread to the elderly.

Mr. Lilley called on all of society from business leaders to the general public to help in the effort. He referenced companies like UberEats and what they can do to help. "There are plenty of companies that deliver food" and called on the government to begin talks with companies such as these to make the isolation as seamless as possible for the elderly.

"This is the time to be neighbourly" he concluded, calling on the public to reach out and do what they can for the most vulnerable around them.