Village crier is faster source of info than officials
THESE days, you grasp at anything going, so here goes.
The Prime Minister told us to check our lockdown status by logging our postcode into a government website.
That’s possible for most, but not all. Many, like Mrs R, don’t do computers.
And it’s complicated, because ours is a Bradford-based set of digits but we live one precious mile inside the border of North Yorkshire. There’s a big difference. The infection rate is much lower – it was zero in August – and fatalities are fewer. Not that anybody has told Mr Covid, and I hope he’s not reading this. But I digress.
I punched in my postcode, and waited. All I got was a link to Craven District Council, and a “medium” level alert.
Hardly a drill-down on the figures. I’d already been told as much after Boris Johnson’s press conference – the one where he omitted to mention his rejection of scientific advice for an immediate “circuit breaker” three weeks ago.
Instead the newspaper website YorkshireLive tells me there have been 86 new cases in the week to October 10, a decrease of 6% on the previous week.
And Craven has an infection rate of 150 per 100,000 people, worryingly high but much lower than the big cities. Villagers round here don’t rely solely on government number crunchers, any more than we trust weather forecasters.
Local gossip is usually accurate, quicker than official sources and more interesting. Evidently, Skipton is a “hotspot”.
Nurses and other key workers live here, and people do talk. Including myself, which is why they say the three fastest forms of communication are: telephone, telegraph and tell Routledge.