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Are we still being too complacent over the threat of coronavirus?

PUBLISHED: 12:46 20 March 2020 | UPDATED: 13:34 31 March 2020

Norwich's high street is still busy even with the Coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Norwich's high street is still busy even with the Coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

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Are people still being too complacent about the threat of coronavirus? That certainly seems to be the growing view of some key Norfolk people I have spoken to in the last few days.

Are people still being too complacent about the threat of coronavirus?

That certainly seems to be the growing view of some key Norfolk people I have spoken to in the last few days.

One of them, Norfolk police chief constable Simon Bailey, said to me he had been “staggered” to hear reports of people still heading to pubs and generally carrying on with their lives as if none of this is going on.

Meanwhile, I took a brief walk through Norwich city centre yesterday afternoon to get some much-needed fresh air and
was surprised at how busy it remains.

It was like a typical Sunday afternoon. Shops still open and the streets populated. Fewer people but still some crowds. I walked past a restaurant where a group of about 10 people were having lunch together. All sat close to each other, no social distancing at all.

I’m not going to start condemning people for the way they chose to live their lives right now – or ever for that matter. There’s too much of that flying about already and some of the judgement I’ve seen from people towards others and how they behave has been one of the dispiriting aspects of this crisis. Fortunately there have been many things that have lifted spirits.

But there’s no harm in me reminding people of the need to really take a long, hard think about the choices they make now and over the next three months (or longer).

We all need to get our heads around the fact this is the new norm – for a while at least. We can’t simply bury our heads in the sand and hope to be immune from it all.

You might only end up with a bad throat and cough for a while but, unknowingly, you could be condemning someone else to something much more serious and maybe even terminal.

This weekend will be a big test for how seriously society is taking the warnings were getting. We’ve seen images elsewhere in the country of nightclubs still full and people partying hard.

While it’s undoubtedly bad for business, I really hope that’s not the case on Saturday night down Prince of Wales Road or whatever the most popular place is in your own town.

No-one wants to make these sacrifices – but we all have to. We don’t have a choice, it’s not an option. Maybe try to remember that the party isn’t over – it just has to stop for a bit.

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