At 8pm last night a group of people in our Street and its adjacent Street came out of their homes and we clapped for some time as a way of acknowledging that although we are stuck in our homes because of COVID-19 that some of the people we know are having to work very hard on our behalf to keep us and other people safe. However it appears based on some of the facebook comments I saw that some people didn’t agree with the idea of the clapping that took place last night. One or two people felt that last week was suitable and indeed a good idea, but two weeks were not very British. A few more feel that future applause will diminish the point of the first set of applauding. My own view is that no one should feel obliged to clap but some of the comments went too far, so I thought I would provide a few images and a few words to go alongside my clapping towards a very small number of people who are working on our behalf as part of the COVID-19 situation.
Steve is someone I and my colleagues in our business have worked for for a number of years, but when he has stopped working at his local School, he then volunteers to work for Sussex Police and in this picture he is with his friend Paul who he clearly works alongside. Although I don’t know Paul, he also deserves a clap and in fact I do know a large number of other people who work for Sussex Police, Surrey Police and I also know one or two people who work for other Police services. A few weeks ago I had the privilege to attend a prize giving event for the Brighton and Hove division of Sussex Police and that photo on the right hand side is made up of the people who we applauded at the time, but they deserve more applause now as they are also grappling with COVID-19 on our behalf. In the photo there are also people from Brighton and Hove Council and a local bank that had worked to prevent someone from having money stolen from their bank account so they also deserve our applause.
Alongside Steve and Paul is Hannah who works for Social Services and she is someone who I happen to know very well. She and her social worker colleagues are all having to work in a very different way to how they worked a few weeks ago and it is clearly much harder than it was. They are people who are helping to protect many people that are very vulnerable.
Finally Sue is someone who I have known since before Hannah was born and before I met Steve. Sue works for the NHS and she is working very long hours to try to prepare their teams for what is likely to come along when the numbers of ill and dying people emerge in our city in the next week or two.
My view is all four of these people along with the myriad of others inside the photo and the many thousands outside of the photo deserve our appreciation as they work hard to help keep us all safe. If the applause upsets one or two people I am sorry they are upset, but I have no intention of stopping the applause and based on the comments and responses from some other people, I am not alone in that view.