Firstly, if you have any concerns about your own health or symptoms, please visit 111.nhs.uk/covid-19.
I recognise your concern about getting essentials like medication and shopping. I understand how concerned you are, particularly given the actions of shoppers in recent days. I am pleased that a number of supermarkets have put special measures in place to ensure that everyone, particularly the elderly, are able to get the food and supplies they need. I have written to all supermarkets in Harlow and our villages asking them to prioritise their delivery service to our elderly and vulnerable and ensure that they have the stock on the shelves that is needed at this time.
I have tabled a Parliamentary Question to the Health Secretary to ask him if doctors and pharmacists would be able to prescribe and dispense medication in larger quantities and another specifically to your questions about shopping as I recognise you are finding this difficult. I will enclose the responses as soon as I receive them.
I have organised a meeting this coming Thursday with community organisations, charities and the Council to see if there is anything we can do to support our most vulnerable in the community. Further to your email, I think it will be useful to invite the local supermarkets as well and will certainly raise the possibility of putting together emergency packs for elderly or vulnerable individuals in Harlow.
You may also be interested to read my statement that I have put out to YourHarlow.com, where I have encouraged people not to stockpile and to look out for their friends, family and neighbours. Over the weekend, the Health Secretary himself has urged people to behave responsibly and have consideration for others, as they shop for supplies and the Government have announced that they are bringing forward measures to ensure supermarkets are able to supply everyone with what they need.
We must follow the advice of the Chief Medical Officer, Public Health England and the Chief Scientific Officer – everything is guided by science and research. Their advice has been set out here. As Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, Great Britain will overcome the coronavirus and get through this. However, the road ahead is going to be hard for everyone.
The Government has announced a number of measures to support everyone, which can be found here.
Harlow is a very special place, with extraordinary reserves of kindness and goodwill. It is a place where people look out for one another. Let us get through this together.
With every good wish,