The past few months have been a very difficult time for the country. As things stand the official figures show that over 40,000 people have died from the virus and the real total is probably higher.
We owe an enormous debt to our NHS and social care staff and to everyone else who has kept the country running through this time – people in food retail and delivery, transport workers and many more.
The changes in behaviour we have had to make have been difficult for people. Unable to visit relatives and friends. Many laid off work, some losing jobs altogether. Grandparents unable to see their children and grandchildren. It has been a huge collective effort based on all of us understanding what we need to do for the greater good.
Here in the Black Country we have had wonderful examples of churches, gurdwaras and many other groups helping their fellow residents, delivering food, checking to see if neighbours are ok and much more. This virus has been a painful time but it has also resulted in many displays of great human spirit.
And it would be a mistake to think this is over. The virus is still circulating, though thankfully the numbers dying are falling, and there is still a risk of second wave of infections. So as the country emerges from lockdown it is vital that the greatest care is taken, as well as having a proper test and trace system that can help us get on top of new outbreaks.
I am keen to hear your views on your own experience, how you feel this has been handled by the country and what you believe should happen next. I have prepared the attached survey and I would be very grateful if you would take the time to fill it out.