SIR – While in these uncertain times supermarkets are going through a field day, with bare shelves and many thousands of online orders, let’s not forget our independent stores.
We should support local suppliers – butchers, bakers, farm shops and others – and perhaps encourage them to start weekly home deliveries in order to keep families and their livelihood intact.
SIR – The Prime Minister has rightly recognized the excellent work done by our staff of the NHS.
We must also recognize the shopkeepers who keep our stores open for essential supplies, together with the postmen, delivery drivers and many others who are at risk due to direct contact with the public.
SIR – I took advantage of the “silver hour” for the over 70s in Sainsbury yesterday morning. I can only compare the experience to the London Underground rush hour.
We have been asked beyond the tannoy to “keep two meters apart in these difficult circumstances: we know it is not easy but please try it.”
I stopped to allow space to develop in front of me – only to be deflected from behind and from both sides.
SIR – My wife and I went to our local Waitrose for the weekly shop on Wednesday. There was a policy of no more than three items for each individual product. Needless to say, there were no toilet rolls on the shelves.
Chatting with the lady on the checkout, we learned that the shelves had been fully stocked with the morning opening product – but some customers came in and bought three multipacks, left the store, and then returned for more. On the other hand, I was not allowed to purchase more than three 330ml bottles of lemonade.
Time for some legislation against accumulation, perhaps.
R In Lonsdale
SIR – I have a suggestion to stop wholesale purchases in supermarkets.
Baskets only – no shopping cart.
SIR – Our daughter lives in Singapore. When the panic purchase began, the stores began to refrain from the supply shelves immediately. Foods of all varieties reappeared every morning and people realized that they didn’t need to panic. Within two days they stopped doing it.
SIR – Isn’t it time for the news to stop showing footage of empty shelves and focus on the fact that the products are being replaced? If people are encouraged to go back to normal shopping, there will be enough to go around.
SIR – Visiting our local supermarket, I noticed that the aisle that previously contained toilet rolls was now piled up with disposable diapers.
I assumed this was a pragmatic and imaginative response to a shortage created by the purchase of panic, even though the Spirit of Dunkirk was a little too far away.
I was relieved when my wife later informed me that the toilet rolls had been moved to another aisle since my last visit.
Save small charities
SIR – We are standing with thousands of small charities to ask the government to save the charitable sector from collapse.
This urgent request is supported by hundreds of organizations working in Britain in our poorest communities. These charities are under threat from movement restrictions and the impact they have on fundraising. Without the ability to organize fundraising events, many will be close to collapsing in a matter of weeks.
About 83% of British charities have an income of £ 100,000 or less. Analysis by the Center for Social Justice suggests that a quarter of those with an income of less than £ 1 million have no reservations. It is these organizations that work day and night with our most vulnerable individuals.
We understand the need for government action to combat Covid-19. The Treasury Ministry offered companies immediate support. We call on the government to do the same for the charity sector with a £ 400-500 million trouble fund to ensure that small charities have a future beyond this crisis.
Parliamentarians from all parts of the House of Commons are supporting our call for help and we are asking the government to take immediate action.
Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP (Con)
Kevin Brennan MP (Lab)
CEO, Small Charities Coalition
Co-director, Football Beyond Borders
CEO, Fredericks Foundation
CEO, Purple Shoots
CEO, home-school support
CEO, Team Dominica
CEO and co-founder Tempus Novo
CEO, the Jericho Foundation
CEO, Trevi House
Chief Exec, Vineyard Compassion
CEO, concern about housing
CEO, Action Foundation
CEO, Action Tutoring
Dr Siva Puthrasingam
President, Age Concern, Luton
CEO, Age UK, Bedfordshire
CEO, Alternative Watford Pregnancy Crisis and Support Center
CEO, Ana Works
CEO, Anawin Wonan’s Center
Charity administrator, Apollo Music Projects
CEO, Apps for Good
Head of services, Aspired Futures
CEO, Barnabus, Manchester
CEO, Bassetlaw Action Center
CEO, Bedford Woman’s Center
CEO, Booth Center
CEO, Broadway Lodge
Fundraising and Business Manager, Broxtowe Women’s Project
CEO, Burmantofts Community Projects (Money Buddies)
CEO, Caritas Anchor House
Interim CEO, CCVS, Cambridge
CEO, CDA, Herts
National coordinator, Church Action for Tax Justice
CEO, Circle Community
President of the foundation, Lewisham Citizens Council
CEO, clean sheet
CEO, Community Foundation for Northern Ireland
CEO, Community Money Advice
Manager, Costa Rural Support Network
Director, Covent Garden Dragon Hall Trust
Founder and CEO, IT cracked
CEO, Dallaglio Rugby Works
Director, Doorstep Library
Operations Director, Drive Forward Foundation
Director, Eagles Nest Project
Chairman of the board, egg cup
CEO, Exaireo trust
Creative director, Fablevision Studios
CEO, FACES Bedford
CEO, Falcon Support Services
Development Manager, Family Matters York
Director, FareShare Food Group
Service Manager, First Step, Leicester
Director of food, Foodetc
CEO, Forward Assist
CEO, Fun and Families Ltd
CEO, Future Living Hertford
Trustee, Fylde Coast Church Alive
Director, Getaway Girls, Leeds
Manager, Glasgow East Alcohol Awareness Project
CEO, Hammersmith and Fulham Volunteer Center
CEO, Health for All Leeds
CEO, Hebron Trust
CEO, Hetty Charity, Nottinghamshire
Director, Holborn Community Association
Manager, Home-Start, Shepway
CEO, Imagine If Trust – Liverpool
Director, intersection 42
CEO, justice and care
Dr. Eli Gardner
Co-founder and executive director, Kids Matter
CEO, King’s Cross Brunswick Neighborhood Association
Project development manager, KPC Youth & Community
Director, in the same way
Director, Lincolnshire Traveler Initiative
CEO, Literacy Pirates
CEO, London Reclaimed
CEO and founder, London Village Network
CEO, Luton All Women’s Center
Central director, Madmac
Director, Maiden Lane Community Center
CEO, Marriage Assistance
Executive director, Mentoring Plus (Bath & NE Somerset)
CEO, mustard tree
Founder and CEO, New Note Projects
CEO, Newark Emmaus Trust
CEO, Northampton Hope Center & Hope Enterprises
Corporate Development Manager, O’Connor Gateway Trust
CEO, Oasis Community Housing
CEO, Outside Edge Theater Company
CEO, Project 507
CEO, Recycling Lives Charity
CEO, Refugee Assistance Network
CEO, Relate London, North West and Hertfordshire
Founder and CEO, Solve
CEO, Riverbank Trust
Director of the network of rural communities
CEO, Save the Family
Director, Hertfordshire Setpoint
CEO, Shannon Trust
CEO, Small Charities Coalition
President of the foundation, SNAP Charity
CEO, St Pancras Community Association.
CEO, Stepping Stones
CEO, Stonegrove Community Trust
CEO, Stop domestic abuse
CEO, Straight Talking Peer Education
Service Delivery Manager, Supporting Carers and Families Together
Secretary and treasurer, SVP Fleetwood Food Bank
Founder and CEO, Switchback
CEO, Teen Challenge UK
CEO, The Baca Charity
Director of Social Cohesion, The Bernard Lewis Family Charitable Trust
Bridge Manager, The Bridge
CEO, The Bridge – East Midlands
CEO, The County Volunte Council, Flintshire
CEO, The Lilias Graham Trust
CEO, The Living Room
Alan Sherry OBE
President, The Marie Trust
CEO, The Red Hen Project
CEO, The Ridge SCIO
Manager, The Safety Zone
CEO, The Sophie Hayes Foundation
CEO, Together women
Commercial Director, Tokko Ltd
Director, Victory Outreach UK
CEO, Camden Volunteer Center
Rev Andrew Machin
President, WAVES Seaford Ltd
CEO, WL Crisis Center
Founder and CEO, Zinthiya Ganeshpanchan Trust
SIR – While schools are closing to slow down the spread of coronavirus (report, March 19) is understandable, I don’t see why exams cannot be held in otherwise almost empty schools.
The candidates could simply be extended further. Not having adequate exam results will affect these pupils in the future when applying for a job.
SIR – The hysteria surrounding the issue of children not going to school is completely without foundation.
All teachers have to do is teach their pupils on Skype or FaceTime, with the result that instead of playing computer games to the point of nausea, they can still get an education.
Sir Gavin Gilbey Bt
SIR – Given the current need for information to provide concrete evidence of a pupil’s skills, was it not a mistake to remove courses from the assessment process?
Many of us in the education system were suspicious of the real reason behind this, and doubted that it should add more rigor and clarity by limiting tests until the end of a course. We were convinced it was because politicians constantly promoted the idea that teachers cannot be trusted.
It would now appear that the only significant way to provide any meaningful record by which to judge pupil performance will be to access the regular records of results carefully noted in teachers’ grade books.
SIR – I can’t see how closing schools can help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
At present, pupils are grouped in one place, potentially helping to contain the spread. Now we must rely on parents to convince their offspring of the dangers of unnecessarily frequented populated public places and to dissuade them from hanging around in large groups. Surely this freedom can only lead to a more widespread problem.
SIR – The children will now need something else to structure their day, and I hope the BBC will intervene and help the parents.
How about fun lessons during the day at set times for different age groups? CBeebies could also become more focused on the lesson. I remember Johnny Ball who fascinates children with his math lessons.
SIR – Our daughter was sent home early from university and the summer period will probably be canceled. Like thousands of other students in the same boat, she wants to help the cause.
Who can exploit such a precious resource? The NHS and charities must use this available and capable group.
William Tice FRCS
SIR – University students like me are facing the prospect of not canceling contact time until next September, perhaps even beyond.
These students, many of whom will not be affected if they contract the virus, should be employed in teams across the country to help out in hospitals, deliver goods and supplies to isolates and support most of the volunteer work the country will have. need in the coming weeks.
The Prime Minister says we are in wartime; now it’s time for the national service.
Self-isolation is the perfect excuse to exercise
SIR – Exercise can improve mental well-being and is recognized as useful for managing depression, as well as improving sleep, feelings of fatigue and quality of life. Significant improvements in our cardiorespiratory health can occur within a few weeks of starting moderate-intensity regular exercise – an important fact when considering that those with lower heart and respiratory health suffer from higher rates of morbidity and mortality when infected from the Covid-19 virus.
Intense exercise is not recommended for people who show symptoms of infection. However, for those who have no symptoms there are clear benefits of starting or continuing exercise alone, now that lack of time – a commonly cited reason for not exercising – is no longer a problem.
Exercise should include a combination of training for flexibility, endurance and aerobic exercise. It can be run indoors and out, with the government stating that those who are isolated can leave their homes to exercise as long as they avoid close social contacts.
The fear and anxiety surrounding this disease are understandable, but there may still be opportunities to improve our health by using the time offered to us as a catalyst for change.
Dr. Craig Sheridan
SIR – When isolation is over, I hope to return to a more normal life. Surely, however, I will still be at risk of infection. I can’t believe successful isolation will bring immunity from the virus. If I’m right, what’s the point?
Perranwell station, Cornwall
SIR – Our roadsides are full of shame. What opportunity now we have to eliminate them. This would provide fresh air, exercise, social withdrawal and relief from boredom.
SIR – Sarah Knapton’s advice (report, March 18) that older people should go to their gardens for fresh air is wasted on thousands of us who have neither a garden nor a patio. Such is the unimaginative design of most of Britain’s housing that we don’t even have access to the scarce open space that a balcony would provide. We can only dream of the relief that a walk in a garden would bring.
SIR – The current need for self-isolation has made extreme measures necessary in our family. My wife dusted off the old wooden tiled Scrabble board and challenged me to a three month competition. He won the first game.
Matching Green, Essex
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