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COMMENT: When will we get answers?

That one word - when?
Peterborough Guild Hall
Peterborough's Guild Hall

When will things get better? When will all medical staff, carers and helpers across the country get the protection they need? When will we see our friends again? 

We've reduced the number of  COVID-19 pieces appearing on our site about numbers of people who have passed away in Peterborough, mainly because without the statistics for care homes and those who have died in the home, it literally just tells half the picture - or perhaps even less.

Clearly our sympathies are with the families and friends of the 83 who have passed away at PCH and Hinchingbrooke. But with every death there is the question of whether they died of coronavirus, or with it - as a notifiable disease it has to be reported on a death certificate, but it may not even be a contributory factor in the person's death. 

In Coventry, for example, an 18-year-old tested positive for coronavirus the day before he died and at the time became its youngest victim - however the hospital later released a statement saying his death had been due to an unconnected but "significant" health condition.

When we spoke to Philia Lodge last week following the unimaginably tough situation staff and residents have been put into, its national operations director stated at the time that those who had died had not been tested but it was assumed that they had died with COVID-19.

The figures so far have mainly been just from hospitals, but now the Office for National Statistics are starting to release figures on deaths of people where COVID-19 was mentioned somewhere in their death certificates, and the scene is starting to get a little clearer.

This figure, split by public authorities - is approximately 11 days behind the hospital figures because it includes the time taken to register, process and publish deaths - but it should soon include care homes. According to the World Health Organisation, half of all deaths in Europe could be within care homes

Other whens...when and where will non-key workers get tested? When will all of our small businesses, and charities get their financial help? When will we know how many people have actually recovered in Peterborough - we have asked, believe me.

And when will there be any semblance of a societal revival? We asked in our poll a few days ago about people's holiday plans post-lockdown, and whether they'd travel abroad, in the UK, or not at all. Flippant maybe, but at least it gives people a chance to visualise a better time ahead.

I had projected this to mean late summer holidays, but now events are being cancelled in October everywhere from Bavarian beer halls to half marathons at the Embankment, while pubs and restaurants are being told they might not be open until Christmas. Theatre, sport, music...all up in the air, but certainly not open air, seemingly.