Leader of Sutton Council Councillor Ruth Dombey’s Leader of Sutton Council column from Sutton Scene newsletter, Friday 8 January.
It’s the beginning of a New Year and I wish it were a happier time for all of us. But we are now in another national lockdown and we must all stay at home unless for essential reasons like food, medical care, or because we can’t work from home.
It’s difficult and frustrating for everyone and we’re all desperate for the vaccine to be widely distributed. Our local GPs are working hard to ensure that the priority groups receive the vaccine as soon as possible. The vaccine will be offered more widely when this is complete. The NHS will let you know when it’s your turn to have the vaccine. It’s important not to contact the NHS for a vaccination before then to help reduce the pressure they are under currently.
In the meantime, this new variant of the virus is spreading quickly across our borough and our city so we need to pull together as a caring community to protect our loved ones, our neighbours and our brave NHS staff.
All the staff at St Helier Hospital are working flat out but the number of COVID-19 patients is rising very fast. We all need to think about our personal actions and how we can help to reduce the rate of transmission of the virus so that our doctors and nurses can focus on helping those people in need of the most urgent medical care.
Many thousands of residents have booked themselves in for a test at one of our local test centres. You can book a slot if you are showing symptoms or without any symptoms.
If you do need to leave your homes, please make sure you wear a mask in shops, public transport and enclosed spaces. By wearing a face covering, you are helping to protect yourselves and also the most vulnerable people in our community. Do wash your hands often and always respect the social-distancing rules.
I know this is very difficult for everyone. Whether or not you, or someone you know, has caught the virus, it is having an impact on every single person. Every business and every job is affected in one way or another. Every school child or student and their families are having to adapt. Every front-line worker is worried about their safety.
The community in Sutton has risen to the challenge over the last nine months and we need to do so again now. If you are concerned about your own situation or that of a friend, neighbour or relative, there is support available so please do ask for help if you need it via the Council website.
I know we will get through this together. The care and compassion being shown by so many people towards others in Sutton is uplifting and fills us with hope for the future. Thank you to everyone who is giving up their time to help those who need extra support.
There will be better days ahead.