A few months ago, it didn’t seem serious. We continued about our days as the news continued to report increased cases in China but it didn’t seem to be a problem, or even on the radar in most people’s lives.
We gathered at churches, embracing each other, with the love, care and compassion we were so used to. The shops were full of everything we needed. We went about business as usual. The church I attend did some fantastic work on outreach into the community.
Little did we know that in just a few weeks, things would take a turn for the worse, and like nothing I have ever seen in my lifetime. Tonight, the reality of just how very serious the situation is was made very clear when I heard the national TV address by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, on the TV.
The coronavirus is the biggest threat this country has faced for decades – and this country is not alone. All over the world we are seeing the devastating impact of this invisible killer. And so tonight I want to update you on the latest steps we are taking to fight the disease and what you can do to help.
And I want to begin by reminding you why the UK has been taking the approach that we have. Without a huge national effort to halt the growth of this virus, there will come a moment when no health service in the world could possibly cope; because there won’t be enough ventilators, enough intensive care beds, enough doctors and nurses.
And as we have seen elsewhere, in other countries that also have fantastic health care systems, that is the moment of real danger. To put it simply, if too many people become seriously unwell at one time, the NHS will be unable to handle it – meaning more people are likely to die, not just from coronavirus but from other illnesses as well. So it’s vital to slow the spread of the disease.
Because that is the way we reduce the number of people needing hospital treatment at any one time, so we can protect the NHS’s ability to cope – and save more lives. And that’s why we have been asking people to stay at home during this pandemic. And though huge numbers are complying – and I thank you all – the time has now come for us all to do more.
From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction – you must stay at home.
Because the critical thing we must do is stop the disease spreading between households. That is why people will only be allowed to leave their home for the following very limited purposes:
- Shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible
- One form of exercise a day – for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household;
- Any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and
- Travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.
That’s all – these are the only reasons you should leave your home. You should not be meeting friends. If your friends ask you to meet, you should say no. You should not be meeting family members who do not live in your home. You should not be going shopping except for essentials like food and medicine – and you should do this as little as you can. And use food delivery services where you can.
If you don’t follow the rules the police will have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings.
To ensure compliance with the government’s instruction to stay at home, we will immediately:
- Close all shops selling non-essential goods, including clothing and electronic stores and other premises including libraries, playgrounds and outdoor gyms, and places of worship
- We will stop all gatherings of more than two people in public – excluding people you live with
- And we’ll stop all social events, including weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies, but excluding funerals
Parks will remain open for exercise but gatherings will be dispersed.
No prime minister wants to enact measures like this. I know the damage that this disruption is doing and will do to people’s lives, to their businesses and to their jobs. And that’s why we have produced a huge and unprecedented programme of support both for workers and for business.
And I can assure you that we will keep these restrictions under constant review. We will look again in three weeks, and relax them if the evidence shows we are able to. But at present there are just no easy options. The way ahead is hard, and it is still true that many lives will sadly be lost and yet it is also true that there is a clear way through.
Day by day we are strengthening our amazing NHS with 7,500 former clinicians now coming back to the service. With the time you buy – by simply staying at home – we are increasing our stocks of equipment. We are accelerating our search for treatments. We are pioneering work on a vaccine. And we are buying millions of testing kits that will enable us to turn the tide on this invisible killer.
I want to thank everyone who is working flat out to beat the virus. Everyone from the supermarket staff to the transport workers to the carers to the nurses and doctors on the frontline.
But in this fight we can be in no doubt that each and every one of us is directly enlisted. Each and every one of us is now obliged to join together. To halt the spread of this disease. To protect our NHS and to save many many thousands of lives. And I know that as they have in the past so many times, the people of this country will rise to that challenge and we will come through it stronger than ever.
We will beat the coronavirus and we will beat it together and therefore I urge you at this moment of national emergency to stay at home, protect our NHS and save lives.
“From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction – you must stay at home.”Boris Johnson in his national TV address. Monday 23rd March 2020 Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52011928
A chilling and sober wake up call to all of us. The UK death toll has reached 335.
I am so thankful to have the ability to lean into the Lord at this time, thank you Jesus! Psalm 91 has been particularly poignant for me at this time. The situation also reminds me of when the angel of death passed over the houses in the Old Testament. I recommend reading Exodus 12 if you have no idea what I’m talking about.
This terrible outbreak globally has forced the churches out of the buildings and forced us to think quickly about how to get the message of good news and comfort for us into our homes.
I watched an interesting TED talk the other day, by Alanna Shaikh. She explains things well, facts, broken down and really helped me to understand the facts in comparison to a lot of the scaremongering on social media. It also carries some clear messages of what will continue to happen if we carry on destroying our planet.
I have a feeling that one good thing to come from this global lockdown is that the affect over a period of weeks will highlight even more (with facts and data to compare against) when the man is caged, the animals and ecosystems get a chance to recover. I pray that a global health system is put into place that is fair for everyone to stop this happening again, or at least reduce the risk of it happening again.
I pray that the decision makers start to look at the priority of care, not budgets, is the least we can do. Because once they total the loss from this outbreak, I have a feeling they will wish they had spent less time trying to save the pennies and invested in the health of all countries.
I thank God for His promises, I thank God for being a good Father, I pray for those who blame God for what is happening to realise that he is a loving God who loves his children and He is waiting for them to turn back to Him. I trust God is in control and take some reassurance and peace from that, because it helps me to provide words of comfort to others too.
I pray to God for all of us globally during this time, regardless of whether they are believers or non-believers. I pray for them to see what I see in Him too. I thank God for the miracle of technology that enables us to stay connected while being stuck at home. Where we are able to somehow keep our spirits up despite hearing increasing numbers of deaths every single day.
I have been praying, a lot! In Jesus name. I repeat on my facebook wall often to let my friends and family know to just message if they need to, so that I can pray for specific things too. It is a very strange position to be in right now when death has no sting. I’m not scared, I’m not anxious, and I’m not worried because I TRUST that when I ask for protection and peace in prayer, the Lord always provides.
I am thankful, every day, that despite the situation, it is glaringly showing the real heroes in our countries. The health workers, carers, shop workers, volunteers, the servants who keep things going, usually with the lowest hourly wages per hour.
I thank God that in our country we still have a National Health Service. I know quite a few people now through facebook who are not so fortunate. So blessed we are to have free healthcare at this time. I pray for peace, blessings and the Lord’s protection over them as they go about their essential works that save lives and keep things going in our communities, despite the challenges they have faced over recent years.
I pray that all the key workers are rewarded and respected more when we eventually get on top of this pandemic, and things begin to get back to normal. I pray that all things that are glaringly obvious are fixed when we come out the other side of this. I pray that we learn during this time locked in to reflect on what is truly important.
Sending love, hugs and blessings. Stay safe, don’t take unnecessary risks, don’t be too proud to ask for help. Wash your hands! Clean your devices! And don’t touch your face! And most importantly get yourself right with God if you haven’t already. You need Jesus in your life, don’t leave it until it’s too late.
1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he[b] loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”