To the people of Chichester
We are all currently going through an unpredictable and unprecedented period of uncertainty and worry caused by the coronavirus COVID-19.
The virus is new, an unknown quantity and at the moment without vaccine or effective cure, although there appears to be some promising research but it is early days.
The government has taken drastic and far-reaching actions and given advice which affects every single one of us. It is at times like this we need our community in Chichester to come together and support each other.
I thought it would be worthwhile sharing some of the information from the local authorities on where you can go for up-to-date advice or if you want to help.
The district council has a good website pulling together all the latest government and other medical advice: chichester.gov.uk/coronavirus
West Sussex County Council has two email addresses if you want to contact then to find out what community activities are going on: firstname.lastname@example.org or want to be a volunteer: email@example.com
The local authorities are working tirelessly to ensure the most vulnerable and needy are cared for and that nobody should be without a roof over their head or the basics of life such as food.
Chichester residents associations have been very active in supporting their communities with practical support. Many have excellent websites and Facebook pages.
We also need to look after ourselves and our families. I know many of you are looking at self-confinement or isolation. Chichester has a high number of elderly and vulnerable people. I am one of them too!
Loneliness can be a real issue with isolation so if you want to call me at any time for a chat and just to let me know how you are coping just phone me on: 01243 787663. I am good listener.
To everybody, either 70+ or under and not ill, try and get some exercise, sunshine and fresh air.
The fitter you are, the better you will be able to resist the virus. Be sensible, though, and go to open spaces such as the coast, countryside and parks where there are few people and keep that two metre gap for social distancing.
The authorities are working hard to ensure that there is plenty of support and there is no need to panic-buy as the supermarkets and food suppliers are all geared up to cope.
Finally, my thanks and admiration to all those in the NHS, carers and essential key workers who are on the front line, you are our heroes.
Together, we can beat this and our community in Chichester will emerge even stronger as a result.
My best wishes to you all, stay safe and well.
Councillor Richard Plowman
The Mayor of Chichester