The Lockdown in Hastings

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Richard
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The Lockdown in Hastings

Postby Richard » Mon Mar 23, 2020 7:51 pm

I have witnessed the lights going out on almost all businesses in Hastings Old Town now.
Notable exceptions being food supermarkets and pharmacies.
The same goes for the New Town.
The Gov't has told us to stay away from each other, 'social distancing' and has labelled people who do not comply as selfish, yet people still have to shop for food and to pick up medical supplies from pharmacies. Additionally some of the elderly do not have friends or relatives and have to get by somehow, those at risk down to age, with no contacts to help them, still have to go out to forage.
The Gov't has issued edicts and now 'promises' to pay workers laid off 80% of a wage if they are paid by a recognised system, yet this is not sorted out at all, the procedure is currently complicated and unworkable and remains to be put in place properly, so that employers can implement it quickly, otherwise they will be laid off very soon regardless.
The self-employed are left adrift and will have to claim Universal Credit, with all its faults, to pay for rent and food.
I see no point in the Gov't threatening us with punitive measures if we do not self-isolate or maintain a 2 metre distance in public, when we will then perish by other means if not by the virus itself.

As for the virus, it does not seem to affect children, therefore surely we must examine and copy whatever immunity they seem to possess that confers immunity.
They may just have better lungs and yet a virus surely cause other symptoms too.
More work need in that direction.

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ColinL
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Re: The Lockdown in Hastings

Postby ColinL » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:54 pm

Get the word out there that agencies such as Age UK, charitable Home Help Services through the local authority will assist with shopping
For certain category of person the Macmillan group may be of help
Local churches and other religious groups often do meals and befriending

Someone local would-be in a good position to visit the various groups. The Observer may be willing to run a feature

cbe
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Re: The Lockdown in Hastings

Postby cbe » Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:14 pm

Speaking of self isolation and indeed the effect it has on business - you will remember Richard that I said I would be in Hastings at the start of September and I asked if anyone would want
to meet up to put the world to rights. Let me tell you the position.
We were booked to go to Northern Italy right at the end of May for 2 weeks (can't stand it too hot) and Hastings end August for a fortnight. When this coronavirus blew up in N.Italy we changed the bookings around (taking the hit on admin etc)......The way it has panned out we will not get to Hastings at May's end in view of self-isolating and since I no longer drive we have to take two trains and the tube to get there, So looks like both my holidays might be off. So you will probably get a reprieve from'the visit'.

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seahermit
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Re: The Lockdown in Hastings

Postby seahermit » Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:42 am

A friend drove me to Morrisons last week (now I am not even going near HIM, just doing brief shopping trips myself as long as I feel alright). The centre of Hastings was like a ghost town. So it should be - I thought the attitude of Sports Direct was appallingly cynical and a two-fingered salute to the government. In a health crisis, we do of course really NEED pairs of jogging pants and cheap t-shirts ...

As for help and befriending from the community, the situation is more fragmented and less organised than it used to be. As far as I know, it is extremely difficult to get the old-fashioned "home-helps" even if you are able to pay. When I left Eastbourne hospital three weeks ago after my accident, my enquiry about any help or home-care was met with "not a hope", i.e. not unless you are dying. (Ten years back, after a prostate operation, I was in quite a bad state for some months and the only help I got was from my own care-workers from a company called Primecare. They were well-trained and good but they cost me a fortune).

Age UK has always puzzled me. If they provide much actual physical help it is not obvious - I have been in there a couple of times with inquiries, the elderly staff seemed to know much less than myself and they seemed more keen on pushing leaflets into my hand and phone numbers of other organisations! A friend of mine said almost the same thing, that they were quite friendly but knew nothing!

At the present time, I am now thankfully mobile again but taking lots of precautions - I look like the Invisible Man with a scarf wound round my face. I have just one brother in Cambridge - since he hasn't even phoned me for years, I can't quite see him rushing down this way if I am in trouble! Fortunately I have a younger friend with a car - he seems OK at the moment, also two really nice neighbours have offered to get shopping if I need it (and of course I will be returning the favour if THEY can't get out).

The point of all this is that the "big society" thing is unfortunately not the reality. There ARE many decent, unselfish people out there but the NHS and the various social/community services were overloaded even before the virus outbreak. It is a matter of luck whether you are able to rely upon outside help or not. As Richard said, numerous elderly and vulnerable people simply do not have many friends or relatives or even much contact with others - they have no option but to struggle on somehow. As for the homeless, they are probably in the worst position of all and it appears that even the the soup kitchens are closing up shop ...

If anyone has more optimistic thoughts or any useful ideas about help around Hastings area, I think it would be a good idea to post them. I am not sure if any kind of central information point has been set up (apart from all the Government bulletins) - the Hastings Observer, local websites? Have the council done anything? Wouldn't it be good if somebody co-ordinated help for the isolated across the borough ..

whiffler
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Re: The Lockdown in Hastings

Postby whiffler » Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:42 am

I'm in Battle, and the Town Council have delivered a leaflet offering shopping/medication volunteers and even some to chat to. Their website also has businesses offering deliveries.

Warning against scammers also included.

The other side of the A4 leafletis advice on CV19 itself and best behaviours.


Info re carer requirements sadly not included. Not that I'm in that position.


I like the idea of a group hug/high tea/beer & skittles when all this is past us. It has interrupted sale of property and intended move back into Hastings.

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Richard
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Re: The Lockdown in Hastings

Postby Richard » Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:03 am

Someone to chat to is important to the elderly, a lot used to go to charity shops for that purpose, including the staff.
Food, drink, med's are clearly vital but most of us know our neighbours (for better or worse) and will ask if they seem to be in need help.
I have actually seen a fair amount of the elderly trudging about outside, regardless of the risks.
They are even given time-slots for the shops still open.

The government's much-touted Job Retention Scheme, (JRS) whereby workers are to be paid 80% of their normal salary, is gobbledygook, the Gov.UK portal hasn't yet been opened so employers can't apply at the moment and the rules are that employees are not allowed to work for employers under the terms of the scheme!
This is fatally self-defeating. The scheme is designed to keep businesses alive in readiness for the recovery — but that goal would be much better served if employees were allowed to work towards it. There is background maintenance work companies will need to do.

Another walk by the sea may clear my head!

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seahermit
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Re: The Lockdown in Hastings

Postby seahermit » Sat Mar 28, 2020 1:43 am

I think the whole economic situation is pretty worrying and it seems likely that many businesses will simply close and never re-open. There seems to be a lot of confusion around both the Job Retention Scheme and the supposed help for the self-employed - in both cases it may be weeks or months before financial help actually kicks in and meanwhile there will be a lot of hardship. Apart from all the people who don't even fall within the specified conditions - if you haven't been self-employed for over a year (with accounts to prove it), you don't qualify! I think the retail sector is going to look very different in a few months' time. In Hastings Peacocks has closed down - that was planned anyway, but another big loss for the town centre.

I am slowly and under protest adapting to a different way of living - I like quite a social life but instead my world is becoming slower, more peaceful and centred on the microcosm of the home! I ventured to local shops a couple of times or went for a walk, because I would go off my head if I didn't, but otherwise I am amazed at how many jobs I find I need to catch up on! And the plant tubs outside need some TLC which gives me another reason to be in the sun. So surviving for now and thankfully some decent neighbours, so we are all promising help to each other if needs be.

But still there seems to be a distinct lack of co-ordination or lead from the council - if there are central info points or sources of help, I have not come across any of it, nothing much even on the Observer website.


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seahermit
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Re: The Lockdown in Hastings

Postby seahermit » Sat Mar 28, 2020 4:47 pm

I saw this notice on the Observer website and I repeat that there is nothing much publicised about central points of information or help in the Hastings area.

Where are the posters, leaflets through doors etc. to really reach the community? Many people still do not use internet, especially older ones, so the website links have no relevance. In any case, in this area there is a distinct mistrust of authorities and Hastings Council in particular - and who can really be surprised by that? What does the council do for the homeless? So, I cannot see many people phoning yet another council number and of course many older people are shy about asking for help. Many people do not even buy the Observer - I don't, it's one of the worst local newspapers I have ever known, a trumpet for the council and local businesses and a very poor reflection of local people's real concerns.

On the door of Trinity church in Hastings there is a notice - and a reference to a website. Only for internet users.

Hastings is a very friendly area and that is one of its strongpoints - but that comes from individuals, very little community leadership comes from the council which seems obsessed about money and has little interest in what local people want or are worried about.

I think local charities etc. ARE probably doing very good work at present and people are being helped, but it isn't well-publicized and it is probably rather random and a matter of luck whether you happen to know about it.

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Richard
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Re: The Lockdown in Hastings

Postby Richard » Sat Mar 28, 2020 5:51 pm

It's somewhat piecemeal across the country, with Church groups, Parish councils, community and volunteering groups and residents associations making up their own forms of help, plus or minus leaflets through doors.
No leaflets from Hastings council but we are not alone in that situation.

People in Hastings are becoming more insular than ever, often crossing the road to avoid others.
Staff inside shops (Morrisons) are now becoming stressed and shouting instructions at unwary customers to only approach tills when called.
M&S handling the situation much better, telling customers to keep a 2 metre distance apart, but what a strange black and white world there, the colour has been sucked out of the shop somehow. Seems rather eerie to shop now and Priory Meadow Mall has doormen to quiz what your business is about.


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