The Basildon Borough is a different place today than the one we called home at the start of March. Coronavirus has tested us like nothing else our borough has ever seen.
That is why it is right that we are paying tribute to those who have done so much for our community over the past six months.
Six months in which loved ones have been lost, goodbyes curtailed, families kept apart, lives and livelihoods devastated.
We have also seen the very best from our community – we have truly appreciated those in our health and care services, who have gone above and beyond, risking their own lives to save others. We have appreciated too those who deliver essential services. We cannot thank them enough.
I reflect on these past months I think about how we are all so dependent on each other.
We need people to be there for us in time of need – it’s what families do, but when we don’t have family close by or we just don’t have family, we need friends and neighbours, we need our community.
We can see, in how this virus is transmitted, how our actions can have profound repercussions on the wellbeing of others. We have all had to come to terms with living under new rules and adapting new behaviours – whether that’s keeping our distance, washing our hands or wearing face coverings.
And I reflect on how these are important lessons for us in the future. Someone in power in this country once famously said, there is no such thing as society. How wrong she was and how dangerous it is to believe that.
Our collective actions determine our destiny. We have to act with others in mind – not act selfishly, otherwise we all suffer.
We thank also those who have volunteered to help the most vulnerable, shown kindness to neighbours and everyone who has complied with the new rules we continue to live under.
Stay safe, stay strong and stay united.
Posted by Leader of Basildon Council - Cllr Gavin Callaghan