Express & Star comment: Everyone can do their bit to stop coronavirus

By Toby Neal | Opinions | Published:

At times of national crisis, there is a noble concept of doing your bit.

A man wears a face mask

It means not looking to see what you can do for yourself, but what you can do for others and the great cause.

The many and various ways that ordinary people have been doing their bit to help others has been an uplifting aspect of what the nation has been going through. You can do your bit too by simply following the government's advice to stay at home and abiding by the guidelines.

In the world of business, some firms and enterprises have been facing a perfect storm due to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. It's been a perfect storm which has hit many hard, but for some sectors it has not been so much of a storm as a whirlwind, with an incredible surge in demand for certain products, and not just the now infamous toilet rolls.

Demand has skyrocketed for milk and other dairy products like butter and yoghurt. Local dairy giant Muller is looking to take on hundreds more workers to cope.

This is a war in which the National Health Service is in the front line, but the supermarkets have proven a front line in the economic context. You only have to look at the empty shelves to appreciate that.

The supermarkets themselves are the publicly visible part. In the background, but not that far in the background, is the logistics and support infrastructure.

It is an unbalanced economic picture, in which some sectors are amazingly busy, while others have seen their activity seriously hit. These troubled waters have not stopped firms finding ways to do their bit.

Building firm Persimmon, for example, is giving spare protection equipment normally used on its building sites to help the NHS.


JCB and Ricoh are among those using their production lines to help in the effort to produce enough ventilators for people in intensive care. A distillery near Oswestry is producing sanitiser. And so on.

In fighting this pandemic, the NHS scores the goals and makes the saves.

Yet everybody else – government, people, business – is a valuable part of the team playing for the win.

Toby Neal

By Toby Neal
Feature Writer

A journalist in Shropshire for 40 years, mainly writes features and columns, especially about aspects of Shropshire history. Lives in Telford and is based at the Ketley headquarters.


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