Time to salute Our Heroes

Torbay Weekly front page April 16, 2020

Torbay Weekly front page April 16, 2020 - Credit: Archant

The landscape of our country and the way we live our daily lives has been changed by the current pandemic. It will probably never be the same. It has thrown up challenges like never before. Things we have taken for granted have been taken away from us.

Torbay Weekly front page

Torbay Weekly front page - Credit: Archant

Just a few weeks ago we were taking the children to the zoo or for a walk and cycle ride on the seafront or a play in the park.

Just a few weeks ago we were going down the local pub or restaurant for a drink and meal with our friends.

Just a few weeks ago we were going to the gym, playing or watching football and preparing for the summer season ahead looking forward to cricket teas and a natter with team-mates over a game of bowls.

Just a few weeks ago we were in our workplace, our offices, our hotels, guest houses and attractions keeping the Bay's economy ticking over and, in the case of the tourism, hospitality and leisure industry, preparing for Easter and sunny holidays time after a long, wet winter.

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Then came the virus and lockdown. All this was suddenly brought to a halt. Our very freedom denied in many ways. For the best of reasons. To stay at home, to protect the NHS and save lives.

The Bay's economy was brought its knees virtually overnight. Millions of pounds have been lost. Thousands have been sent home from work as businesses have been forced to close. Some businesses will never recover. Some people will never get their jobs back.

So, at the moment the majority of us are at home, in some cases unable to spend time with our loved ones. Just trying to ride out this awful storm. A storm which has far from passed through yet. But, ironically, although we aren't meant to be together, this mess has brought us more closely together. As a community. United.

We actually know who our neighbours are. We have started caring for others in the community and making sure our most vulnerable and isolated residents are okay and not alone – albeit remotely and at a safe distance. Even crime levels have dropped.

Businesses have had to be transformed to survive. Some will never go back to the way they used to operate. But that may not be a bad thing as our entrepreneurial spirit has shone through.

There have been dozens and dozens of heart-warming stories of people, groups and organisations championing the community be it manning help lines at advice call centres, running or opening food banks, raising money for all kinds of good causes or flooding our heroes on the NHS frontline with gifts. Their bravery and steadfastness has also brought us together as we have stood on our doorsteps at 8pm on a Thursday and together hailed those who are putting their lives at risk by saving those of others.

These people are the true heroes in all this. Alongside others without whom Torbay just could not operate. Our council workers, our binmen, post men and women, our delivery drivers, bus drivers, our supermarket workers and corner shop owners and our emergency services. As well as individuals whose small acts of kindness have made a big difference.All Our Heroes in their own right. All heroes who deserve recognition and a big thanks when light breaks at the end of this dark tunnel.

Please send the Torbay Weekly details of your heroes for our Our Heroes campaign.

We would like to salute them for being truly Naturally Inspiring.

Torbayweekly@archant.co.uk is the address to use.