We are living through a strange and unique time. Life is beset with disruption, with anxiety about financial challenges and the risk of ill health for those we care about. We are dealing with grief and uncertainty about what lies ahead, and these are all extremely difficult to bear.
But, already, it is clear that we have within us all the strength and the ability to survive.
Two weeks ago, you will remember that The Queen spoke to us all, with great wisdom, from Windsor Castle. She said that in years to come, people will look back and agree that we, today, have been united and resolute and that this, once again, characterises the national spirit that we can recognise from former times. Our response to the Covid-19 pandemic demonstrates that we can take pride in who we are, together, just as our forebears could when faced with two terrible wars.
We have amongst us many valiant people, in our key essential services, who are working round the clock, with no regard for themselves and their own welfare, to protect and take care of us. In addition to this, we have a brave army of volunteers who have stepped up to take their part in providing the kind of support we need in the community. They are today’s version of the flotilla of ‘little ships’ who went to the aid of the great Destroyers rescuing our Armed Forces from the beaches of Dunkirk.
I know that Her Majesty, who was with us in Somerset last year, would be proud and uplifted by what is taking place, in every town and village and on every street and in every hamlet, across our county. You are demonstrating the real tireless humanity of the people of Somerset.
From making PPE equipment for our front-line caring professionals, to looking after our neighbours with kindness and generosity; from running food and medical equipment supplies to taking care of those who are alone and unhappy; by being united and compassionate you have risen to the challenge.
I want to thank everyone across our wonderful county for your kind and tireless response to this terrible crisis. I have heard of so many different initiatives, both professional and voluntary, and we, in the Lieutenancy, would like to hear of any which you know about. Please contact us to let us know, through our website. If you could tell us about them we, too, can pass on our thanks to them.
As Her Majesty said at the end of her speech, “This will pass, better days will return, we will be together with those we love and we will meet again.”