It does feel there’s light at the end of the tunnel; and not just because President Trump lost the US election! Now that a vaccine has been developed, it is hopeful that we will beat this virus.
This vaccine may not be the whole solution, but there are many other possible vaccines still in medical trials.
I urge people to consider signing up to take part in vaccine trials and accept the offer of a vaccine, as soon as it’s available through our NHS. People most vulnerable to Covid-19 will be offered vaccination first, beginning a rolling programme. The sooner the majority of us is vaccinated, the sooner this crisis can end for good. Search here for details: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/research/coronavirus-vaccine-research/.
The virus has damaged our health, or confidence, and stolen our loved ones. It’s hit our economy hard, too. That will take time to repair.
We need real, positive interventions in the economy and effective support for all families, now.
One devastating impact of reduced incomes and higher unemployment is that more children are going hungry. This is so much worse in Newham than elsewhere. Even before the pandemic we had 40,000 children living in poverty.
Families struggled over half term, even with parents still in work, because furlough and lower support for the self-employed have cut incomes. It’s far worse for those left jobless and having to rely on meagre Universal Credit alone.
Parents struggle on for a long time before asking for help. Mums and Dads go without food, rather than see their children suffer. This hides the scale of the problem.
The Government finally made a u-turn and will provide support to families at risk of hunger during the holidays, following excellent campaigns by footballer Marcus Rashford and Labour MPs. Don’t imagine for a second, though, that the support provided will be enough.
Let’s show all Newham’s children that they are part of a community that will care for them.