LETTER OF THE DAY
AS the summer ends, our thoughts turn to what kind of winter and autumn it might turn out to be.
With coronavirus hanging over us, we can only hope that the winter doesn’t turn out as bad as some predictions have it and that the predicted second wave of infections is not too serious and that better still it doesn’t materialise at all.
However, that would still leave us with three major problems connected to coronavirus which the government are simply not addressing in a competent manner; mental health, domestic violence and homelessness.
There has been a sharp rise in the number of people with mental health issues during the coronavirus crisis, with figures from the Office for National Statistics suggesting that nearly one-in-five were suffering during June, twice the usual number.
There has also been a sharp rise in domestic violence during the most severe periods of the lockdown. Refuge, the UK’s largest domestic abuse charity, reported a 700 per cent increase in calls to its helpline in a single day. A separate helpline for perpetrators of domestic abuse seeking help to change received 25 per cent more calls after the start of the Covid-19 lockdown.
Meanwhile the ending of the furlough scheme and the imminent ending of the evictions ban for tenants, puts thousands of people at risk of becoming homeless.
We need a proper, joined-up and coherent strategy from the government regarding these issues, a strategy which will put compassion and caring for the people of this country at its heart. As yet there is no strategy at all.
We can only hope that the government improves its record of dealing with coronavirus and related issues.