If the UK’s rallying call for self-isolation and social distancing compliance, support and a united front against Covid 19 is to work, then we have to recognise that, while protecting the NHS is key, so is thanking those who are keeping our healthcare and other vital services going.
They are the unsung heroes, and they are essential to winning this battle.
We can only maintain a strong frontline if we have a robust, committed and dedicated support system — and we are very, very fortunate in the calibre of people keeping their heads and doing their jobs.
Every supermarket delivery driver or shop worker, every utilities employee, every public transport colleague, every manufacturing and technology company producing essential parts and materials for everything from medical equipment to communications systems, every infrastructure organisation staff member carrying out critical maintenance, every refuse collector or postal worker. There are more. They know who they are. We are deeply grateful. We need to tell them.
The truth is, these incredible people, these other front-liners, operate at the shoulder of the NHS. It is thanks to them we still have some semblance of normality, services that work and something to look forward to returning to. If the power goes off there’s no hope for those in hospital on a ventilator.
So I would call on the government, in these, the strangest of times, to widen its message.
I have said before that staying connected, keeping the country, and the world, together is paramount. Broadband and telecommunications, freight, transportation, manufacturing. My business is a cable manufacturer. Much of the things our culture and lifestyle are built around require cable.
The Civil Contingency Act may not have envisaged a challenge of this scale, but it was put in place to ensure that the jobs we can’t stop go on. What we have to do is ensure the people doing them are protected and valued. During WWII, women driving buses and working in factories in cities knew that what they were doing was essential to keep the country on its feet. We aren’t at the whim of dropping bombs. We know how and what to do to protect ourselves, we need to make sure the PPE is first class, readily available and its use clearly understood by those unaccustomed to working with it.
There is a risk. We are all at risk, but it is manageable — if everyone really understands the threat. Covid 19 is not to be underestimated and the young and the fit are not invulnerable. We share a responsibility.
This isn’t the first health challenge the world has faced, and come through. Sars, Bird Flu, HIV — science and technology will find a way, but people have to change their behaviours too. We have to find the courage, we have to quickly learn to become accustomed to doing things a different way. We can’t hide inside our homes forever, but the quickest way outside is to comply, prepare, be aware and develop the habit of protecting ourselves and others automatically.
And in the background to all of this there are those people, finding the courage, every day. Yes nurses, doctors, porters, cleaners, hospital administration and canteen workers and, yes, the people who are making it possible for us to stay in our homes.
So again, I ask the Government to change the message. Our beloved health service workers must be joined in our thoughts and our thanked by those working to support them at work and us in our homes.
We are surviving because we live in a global market and that market is still functioning. A 3D printer can build a ventilator — but it can only do it if there is broadband of sufficient speed and cable.
No one country can fight this on its own. Because we have global standards that ventilators will work anywhere in the world. We can’t divide people. This is humanity’s problem. If we don’t work, and work together, we won’t get out from under. We must help people to keep doing what they’re doing, to stay safe, to stay well.
What we don’t need right now is a communications technology conspiracy theory
That’s why, of all the things to point the finger at during the current pandemic, 5G has to be the most unlikely candidate for a conspiracy theory, especially one that condemns communications technology as the spreader of an organic virus.
So first, let’s get the science straight. 5G technology is more likely to be one of our saviours in this world-scale challenge. We must stay connected; intelligence and communication is everything. As different nations we cannot work in silos — we have to work together to give ourselves as neighbours, brothers and sisters and friends — the best chance to defeat Covid 19.
For the record, an organic virus needs an organic host-body to live. 5G offers it absolutely nothing. Nowhere to live, nothing to sustain itself. 5G is the next generation of mobile broadband that will eventually replace, or at least augment, our 4G LTE connection. With 5G, we’ll see exponentially faster download and upload speeds. Latency, or the time it takes devices to communicate with wireless networks, will also drastically decrease. It uses a system of cell sites that divide their territory into sectors and send encoded data through radio waves. None of this is organic. None of this offers a real-world virus hope or opportunity. Italy, as we know, has been one of the hardest hit by Coronavirus. Italy has no 5G.
This is the worst kind of work to unsettle people. It’s aim is to turn people against one of the biggest weapons in this fight. This is a return to the thinking that marked the world’s second industrial revolution. It saw people smashing tractors in the mid-20th Century because they felt they were being put at risk.
So 5G is one of the heroes. Sharing information, working together: these are the things that will save us. Faster broadband speeds, platforms like 5G — these are the channels that will help us all.
- Three recent mobile phone mast fires around the UK are being investigated as possible arson, amid concerns that people are attacking telecoms infrastructure because of a conspiracy theory linking 5G technology to the spread of coronavirus.
The media regulator, Ofcom, moved to discredit the conspiracy theory with cabinet secretary Michael Gove adding the theories were “dangerous nonsense”. Professor Steve Powis, national medical director of NHS England, condemned them as “the worst kind of fake news”.