Let's Stick with it Suffolk


Article by Councillor Matthew Hicks, leader of Suffolk County Council.

Keep Looking OutPublished 9th June 2020.

Let’s Stick With It Suffolk

If you are staying or working at home when possible, thank you.

If you are regularly washing your hands, thank you.

If you are staying 2 metres away from others when outside, thank you.

If you are sticking with it Suffolk, thank you.

Now, more than ever, we must all continue to do these things to slow the spread of the virus in Suffolk.

In the last few weeks, to the relief of many people, we have been granted more freedom to leave our homes, to exercise outside more frequently and to meet with others. In the coming weeks, we will also be able to visit more shops as they begin to reopen.

However, we must all understand that the coronavirus is still out there, it is still spreading amongst people and sadly, people are still dying having contracted the virus.
Personally speaking, although I now have the freedom to go out when I like, I still exercise caution and will only go out when I really need to. This might be for some shopping or simply to get some fresh air and a chance to take some time to myself.

The good news is, our actions together continue to be a success. By sticking with it and using common sense we are all making a difference.

On 18 May, the Stick With It Suffolk campaign was launched by the Suffolk Resilience Forum. The Forum consists of representatives from all Suffolk’s councils, emergency services, NHS and other public services. The joint message from all these organisations continues to be Stick With It Suffolk, to keep doing the things that have been successfully slowing the spread of the virus in our county.

In the first two weeks of Stick With It Suffolk being launched, it was tweeted about over 1,000 times – which to me shows that people in Suffolk want to encourage each other to stick with it too.

Recent weeks have seen a steady decline in the number Covid-19 deaths, and the number of cases continue to fall. This is a very sad and sombre way to measure progress, but it shows that we are slowing the spread of the virus and that we are past the first peak.

I also wanted to recognise the thousands of people who are shielding across Suffolk, who are showing incredible resilience, having stayed behind a closed door for months. You are certainly not forgotten, and your perseverance to stick with it is admirable. By continuing to stay at home, you are hugely reducing the risk of getting the virus, which continues to protect our NHS by making sure they are not overwhelmed.

The Prime Minister has indicated that he will continue to review measures for those who are shielding, in addition to the new guidance that you can leave your home if you follow social distancing guidelines. Thank you for being patient and sticking with it, I hope there will be some more positive guidance for you in the coming weeks.

Last week was national Volunteers Week. I, along with other Suffolk Resilience Forum colleagues, contributed to a video to thank our amazing volunteers in Suffolk. Thousands of you have been so generous with your time, using it to look out for others. Maybe you’re working with a local charity, or grabbing some shopping for others on your street, so they don’t have to go out. This is one legacy I hope we can continue once the pandemic is over: to keep looking out for others.

Stick with it Suffolk, you’re doing great. Let’s keep going and share your experiences with me on social media using #StickWithItSuffolk.