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Letters to the Spalding Guardian editor – July 2, 2020

Shocking death rates among care workers

Workers in the care system are dying at twice the rate of the rest of the population through coronavirus because of the government’s failings, unions have warned.

Government claims to have put a ‘protective ring’ around the care sector early in the pandemic were exposed via a new Office For National Statistics (ONS) release recently which revealed the shocking death rates among care workers.

The figures show that women care workers are twice as likely as the general population to be killed by coronavirus – and for male workers the figures are even worse.

Since March, care homes – now all privately run – have struggled with shortages of basic personal protection equipment such as face masks and gowns.

At the same time, elderly and vulnerable people with coronavirus were transferred from hospital to care homes to make more hospital beds available, virtually guaranteeing the transfer of the virus from the NHS to the care sector.

The stark ONS statistics show that in the care sector there have been 50.1 coronavirus deaths per 100,000 men and 19.1 deaths per 100,000 women. This compares with 19.1 deaths per 100,000 men in the general population and 9.7 deaths per 100,000 women.

The figures reflect a “tragic national scandal,” according to Christina McAna, assistant general secretary of care workers union Unison.

Ms McAnea said: “ The government has failed to protect social care during this pandemic, and even now these issues are far from being resolved.

“Care workers have financial pressures to work when they should be shielding or self-isolating. Protective kit is being used for longer than is safe, and testing is still not happening. Social care needs reform from top to toe to fix the system for good.”

The King’s Fund director Suzie Bailey said: “It is a tragedy that such a disproportionately high number of social care staff have died from COVID-19.

Hard working staff have been on the front line in this crisis, but have been let down by government promises of support that have not been delivered.”

The health charity director said that, “ lessons must be learnt.” The virus still poses a very real threat and care workers need to be prioritised and protected. Social care must never again be treated as an afterthought to the NHS, but as an equal partner in an independent system.

Rodney Sadd

Union delegate for South Holland & The Deepings Labour Party

Ann Marie Mann Picking daisy's in the garden. What other fun is there to have during isolation! (37548706)
Ann Marie Mann Picking daisy's in the garden. What other fun is there to have during isolation! (37548706)

Council chair will be greatly missed

I would like to mark the sudden death of the chairman of Donington Parish Council by saying a big thank you for all that he did for the village.

The flowers in the market place were all planted by him since the Donington in Bloom committee retired and replacements could not be found.

Arthur was often seen pushing the water bowsers to his own home to charge the battery or service them. He gave his time to ensure the Doningtonian was delivered to the people in his area.

The help he gave to local people was done with great kindness and no fuss. Many of us owe him a great deal of thanks. Arthur, you will be greatly missed.

Liz Walker

via email

John Elson's Spalding Guardian cartoon. (37631265)
John Elson's Spalding Guardian cartoon. (37631265)

Rhetoric with no practical solutions

Terrorists claim differing motivations to justify their violence.

The depth and passion with which individuals and communal groups cling to their beliefs and opinions plus asymetic access to influence and power the more violent social interactions become.

The physical isolation and anonymity of the global digital network enables people to develop relationships divorced from social standards absorbed in childhood which underpin a community’s social cohesion. Freed from these constraints, people fantasise, forming dillusionary visions and perverted distortions of reality. The internet has unlocked Pandora’s box.

MP Sir John Hayes in his latest column asserts that something must be done about terrorism and the digital dark webs that foster terrorism.His solutions are always framed in his Back to the Future vision of Britain’s tomorrows.

The print media are subject to legal constraints that protect privacy and truthfulness. The same laws should be applied to the internet and social media facilitators.

Lord Denning, a past Lord Justice, said: “Freedom of speech does not extend to shouting fire in a crowded public venue. Only licensed and registered users should have access to the internet and social media. To speak your mind is every freeborn adult’s right in a democracy but not to incite hatred or violence.”

The Basel Conventions stipulate that multi-nation corporations’ profits should be taxed at the rate applied in the country in which the head office is located.

The global digital economy is dominated by giant corporations whose head offices are located in countries with low tax regimes. Britain and France are seeking a consensus for change. Digital businesses should be taxed where revenue has been generated.

Britain has legislated to impose a two per cent levy on big tech earnings from April 2020.America First Trump has imposed and threatens to impose more tarriffs on Britain’s exports to America. The imposition of this levy has to be delayed . With or without a trade deal with the EU, Britain needs a trade deal with the USA .

It is now six months since the the election and the commons select committee scrutinising intelligence and security still has not met.

This is the committee charged with reporting on the extent and impact of any Russian cyber propaganda on the Brexit referendum vote.Two of Johnson’s nominees for membership have been withdrawn for not obeying Johnson’s or svengali Cummings’ command. Sir John Hayes is a new nominee. More rhetorical flummery divorced from practical solutions.

Paul M Walls


Thought For The Week

How much has your life changed in these past few months?

Many of us have been required to take on added responsibilities: shopping for family, friends or neighbours; putting in extra shifts if you are a worker in a critical sector; home schooling and realising that you can’t remember how to do long division.

Sometimes the extra responsibilities can become overwhelming and exhausting.

At times like these, who takes on the burdens of the burdened?

As in all aspects of life, the Bible offers us an answer. In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus gives us these words of comfort: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Coming to the Lord in prayer and committing all things to him is more than simply, ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’, it is knowing deep rest within our very souls; a permanent rest rather than a temporary relief.

For those of you who may be struggling with the extra weight of burden, take it to the Lord in prayer.

Ricki Kendall

Spalding Baptist Church

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