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With so much bad news around at the moment it's easy to forget that the Coronavirus is forcing us to make many positive changes in our lives, isn't it?
I write this from my garden, directly under the area that both Gatwick and Heathrow aircraft circle high above whilst queuing to land and am happy to say that a plane overhead is now as likely to make us stop and stare as the newly arrived Spotted Woodpecker and - incredibly - the Red Kites which by rights shouldn't be anywhere near us.
I'm sharing my home with a daughter and her friend - both of whom are working in highly sensitive fields that require complete privacy and which normally take them around the country. They're managing perfectly well here and the group meetings and even group training sessions my daughter leads are running like a dream. I wonder how many others who are normally on the road or railways daily (or flying too often for business) are happily home-based in a less polluted environment with more hours in the day (as they're not having to travel) and are a lot less stressed to boot?
I hope lessons are being learnt about our need to travel less for work and that there will be a rethink over Heathrow's planned extra runway as well as much of the high-speed rail link that's decimating so much of our countryside and forcing people from their homes. Yes we badly need to connect up some places to the network but let's be sensible about it!
Another positive is our focus on hygiene. I've always felt disturbed by the surveys which reveal that so many people don't bother washing their hands after visiting the WC. I've been in this industry proper for almost 30 years now and things haven't improved. I'd wondered whether respondents were winding up the surveyors but having carried out a secret survey myself whilst filming for the BBC some years back, I realised that this wasn't the case.
Results from a survey carried out in the US last week show, encouragingly, that not only are more people now washing their hands a lot more frequently than they used to, the majority are planning to continue the habit once this pandemic has passed. While of course this will stand us in good stead for the next one, it will also prevent a lot of the infections that many of us might have picked up in the meantime, because of poor hygiene.
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16th April 2020