Lately I’ve been thinking about risk. This was provoked by The Independent quoting chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance as saying that the further relaxing of lockdown to come on the 4th of July was “not risk free. It cannot be risk free. Every time you take a step to open up there is some associated risk with that”. The same article in The Independent also states that a group including the presidents of 11 royal medical colleges and the chair of the British Medical Association are warning that a second wave of coronavirus was a “real risk”.

However, it seems to me that, when we’re faced with risk, the best thing to do is to think about safety. So we might remember that, to try and reduce the number of road traffic accidents, we are taught The Green Cross Code as kids. Similarly, we might recall that, to try and minimise deaths associated with smoking, every cigarette packet carries health and safety warnings. Talking of health and safety, since 1974 every business has had to legally comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act.

In fact, there seems very little in our daily lives that doesn’t require any health and safety considerations. Yet, according to NHS statistics, there were 24.8 million A&E attendances in England in 2018-2019. In the same time period, according to Electrical Safety First, there were “approximately 19,300 accidental domestic fires of electrical origin” – 926 of them from our microwaves! And road safety charity Brake reports that “five people die every day on the road in Great Britain”.

So it seems, even without coronavirus, this country was never a safe one. But the best response to that has to be to inform ourselves of the risks we’re likely to face and act responsibly. So, to aid with that, here is the link to the government’s guidance for the changes that are coming on the 4th July: Government Guidance.

Although the further relaxing of lockdown means the re-opening of WHISC on Bold Street moves ever closer, for now things remain as they are. Consequently, staff and volunteers are continuing to offer a Listening Ear service from home. So, if you phone 07708 381568 and leave your name and phone number, they will ring you back. Alternatively, leave a message on Facebook with your phone number and, again, they will ring you back when they can. Together, we will get through this.