The lockdown has been difficult for our community and it is something which most would never have predicted could happen, however the most common question I’ve heard recently is; when will we return to normal and what will be the ‘New Normal?’
In accordance with the guidelines businesses have closed and with the support and help from the government it is hopeful that many local businesses will survive the pandemic. At the time of going to press Grant payments within the Tandridge area totalled 12 million pounds had been paid out to over 900 businesses with 700 businesses not having applied for funding yet. The Government has introduced the Business Interruption Loan scheme and the Bounce Back Loan was which was made available earlier this month is 100% backed by the government.
While it is great to have these schemes in place it is important to note that due to the lockdown the UK level of debt is rising and in turn this isn’t great for the economy with the UK potentially going into its’ worst recession. The lockdown has indeed made the economy suffer. Lifting the lockdown too soon however could result in a second wave affecting us and until social distancing has been relaxed adhering to the guidelines may be difficult for certain businesses especially spas, gyms and salons and so it is imperative that the balance is right so as to not harm businesses.
With over 12000 BA redundancies being made the travel industry has been drastically affected. Shalin Sharma from ‘Not Just Travel’ explained; “The industry is expecting a boom as people are desperate to travel again, but it is likely won’t see the same numbers of people travelling as pre lock down for the next 2-3 years as some people are understandably concerned.”
Social distancing will likely be enforced, with a lot of airlines considering blocking off middle seats. Some airlines will also request all passengers to wear a mask prior to boarding while others may carry out COVID-19 testing. Cleanliness regimes will be stepped up with thorough disinfection of airline’s and hotels routinely becoming the norm. A lot of businesses will return to work but disposable income for many may be reduced. Being flexible during this pandemic and not worrying about our usual routine yet have to adapt into a new routine is something which a lot of families will have found difficult.
Our children and grandchildren belong to a generation filled with technology so embracing the concept of homeschooling has perhaps not been as difficult as it would have been for them to grasp ten years ago. Regardless of this, integrating and social interaction with their friends are equally as important for their development and there is also the worry that some children may fall behind with the skills and knowledge they would normally acquire from being in the classroom.
On an exciting note the team here at ‘The Caterham and District Independent’ were extremely interested to discover that Professor Nicholas Hart, whom our Prime Minister praised as one of the medical staff who saved his life (while he was in intensive care last month), is an Old Cat and former Caterham School pupil.
Professor Nicholas Hart left Caterham School in the 1980‘s and is now the Director of the Lane Fox Respiratory Service at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and is one of the most experienced specialists in treating patients with chronic respiratory failure. His role has seen him recently treat not only the Prime Minister but many patients suffering from COVID-19 within the intensive care unit of the hospital.
We spoke to Ceri Jones, Headmaster of Caterham School who explained “We were extremely proud when we heard that Professor Nicholas Hart had a vital role in the care of the Prime Minister. Professor Hart is an inspiration to all of us here – not only for the incredible work he and his team are doing saving the lives of so many Coronavirus patients at Guy’s and St Thomas’s but for the clear teamwork, vision and dedication he shows. He and his team are the embodiment of what we can all achieve when we work together and never give up, even under the toughest of circumstances.”
As a thank you, Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds decided to name their new born son after Professor Nicholas.