Letter: Assume everyone is someone who could die from Covid-19

As lockdown measures are ‘eased’, this reader with a serious health condition believes that thoughtlessness through not properly social distancing could kill now more than ever

spread of the covid-19 virus - stay at home - United Nations

OnTheWight always welcomes a Letter to the Editor to share with our readers – unsurprisingly they don’t always reflect the views of this publication. If you have something you’d like to share, get in touch and of course, your considered comments are welcome below.

This from a reader known to OnTheWight who wishes to remain anonymous. Ed

Please, please practise social distancing and give everyone space so you don’t accidentally kill someone who is extremely vulnerable like me – keep those of us who have been shielding safe. 

People have been shielding – those people who are most likely to die from Coronavirus (Covid-19) if they were to get it – have been stuck indoors completely for a very long time, and now, come 1st August, the government is forcing people who have been shielding back to work and into the grocery stores. 

Assume everyone is someone who could die from Covid-19
It isn’t safe for us to be out unless you stay away from us. 

Please, assume that everyone – all people in the queue or who you pass by or who you want to reach over to grab a pint of milk – is someone who could die from Covid-19 or have permanently damaged lungs or other debilitating, life-long problems. 

We have to depend on you being responsible for our health
Many of us with breathing problems, cancers, etc. cannot move fast enough to dodge out of your way.  We are scared to go to places where there are other people, from the shops to the surgery to the pavement outside of our homes. We have to depend on you being responsible for our health and our lives. 

Horrific recovery time
This still is a very serious virus.  There is a not well reported number of people who have had a horrific time recovering, and many who have lived but who now have severely reduced lung capacity and other problems. 

We worry about death but we also worry about permanent damage to our health and worsening of our diseases and conditions.

Please give way to us and a very wide berth
If you have a nan with COPD, an uncle with diabetes, a neighbour with a lung disease, a father with a heart disease, a niece with leukaemia, a friend on immunosuppressants for an autoimmune disease – you know that any of these people can be in the grocery queue or walking down the road.  You want them protected from this virus. 

Please give way to us and a very wide berth. 

Make it safe for the extremely vulnerable
This isn’t just about spreading a virus that can make healthy people feel very sick.  Thoughtlessness through not properly social distancing could kill now more than ever.  Make it safe for the extremely vulnerable.   

Thanks in advance for taking this seriously.

Image: United nations under CC BY 2.0

Wednesday, 24th June, 2020 3:41pm


ShortURL: http://wig.ht/2nKE

Filed under: Health, Island-wide, Letter to the Editor, Top story

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39 Comments on "Letter: Assume everyone is someone who could die from Covid-19"

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I support the writer of this letter 100% – I am in a similar position. Just think about other people before you act.


The attitude of Jon101 demonstrates clearly the danger of trusting the general public to comply with the rules, which should always be made with regard to the lowest common denominator. The government have made a mistake and there will be a resurgence of the virus leading to another lock down, more deaths and increased financial hardship.

Tin man
Wouldn’t some form identification bracelet or badge assist with this situation to highlight the vulnerable. After all, people aren’t mind readers or X-ray machines, and someone may look in the peak of health yet be vulnerable and vice versa but who would know? At the end of the day the responsibility for one’s own health is the responsibility of oneself, and as much as the rest of… Read more »

Did you read the letter? It says that it’s difficult for some people who are extremely vulnerable to get out of the way quickly because of breathing problems and mobility issues and the like. Society does have a responsibility to care for others too.


“Assume everyone is someone who could die from Covid-19
It isn’t safe for us to be out unless you stay away from us. ”
The thing is covid-19, DOES NOT have a greater mortality rate than the flu. The Coronavirus IS a cold, Covid-19 is a bad cold


Tell that to the five friends of mine with my disease who are dead from COVID-19. I think they would beg to differ.


assume everyone can get run over by a bus, solution = ban buses


assume everyone can be stabbed by a knife, solution = ban knives.


assume everyone can be get a dodgy hairdo,solution = ban hairdressers.


assumption is the fist of a fool.


Those analogies have nothing to do with a virus, or how to avoid a virus, or something as basic as asking people to social distance. Your logic is extremely faulty!


Public Health England estimates that on average 17,000 people have died from the flu in England annually between 2014/15 and 2018/19. However, the yearly deaths vary widely from a high of 28,330 in 2014/15 to a low of 1,692 in 2018/19.

Currently we have 42,927 official deaths, over 65,000 excess deaths. And sadly this is just the beginning…

It isn’t just a cold or the flu.


Hong Kong flu killed 80,000 in 1968-1969, but we didn’t destroy businesses, put millions out of work, close the schools for months on end, close most of the NHS, etc etc.



Hong Kong flu killed 80,000 in 1968-1969, but we didn’t destroy businesses, put millions out of work, close the schools for months on end, close most of the NHS, etc etc.

Plus the official figures are for deaths “with” the virus. The true figure for deaths cause by the virus will be much lower tha 65,000.

Your perception of Covid-19 is out of date jon101. We are now reading of people who initially only had mild symptoms have developed lung damage due to blood clotting caused by Covid-19. Not just in this country but in China and America. Do keep up – and try to have a morsel of sympathy for those like the letter writer. The second wave has already started in… Read more »
Mark L Francis

Could we have some kind of badge or identification scheme for people like jon101?


They are easy to spot in the US. They refuse to wear masks, and they feel free to cough or spit at strangers. We have not yet reached that level of depravity here, but the trend is not encouraging (equating death with a bad haircut; social distancing markings in town centres are ‘sleepwalking into dystopia’).


Perhaps you’d be better of staying indoors.

As ukdave doesn’t know the difference between ‘of’ and ‘off’ one must assume he is unable to realise that the many islanders who have been instructed to remain in their homes for the past three months would actually like to go outside for a walk now that they are permitted to do so but are understandably fearful of the dangers outside their homes. How difficult is it… Read more »

“one must assume”? You can assume what you like. I trust readers with a little more credit than to make ludicrous assumptions based on a typo.


ukdave, why should people with lung and heart diseases etc. not be able to go outside or to the shop? A lot of extremely vulnerable people already are having to stay inside and not even able to do their government-sanctioned exercise because so many others are being irresponsible and not following the rules.


People should do as they feel. Judge the risk themselves. If I was of the mindset of the author I think I’d be tempted to continue to self isolate as much as possible. Get food delivered. Essential travel only, etc, etc.


You keep missing the point. Some people have to work, and don’t have a choice. Their bosses are trying to make work ‘COVID-19 secure’. But if employees and customers don’t follow the rules at work and to and from work, then it is unsafe. Thus this plea to please follow the rules – at work, on the pavement, at the shops….


The gentleman describes himself as “extremely vulnerable”. Most of his letter describes circumstances surrounding shopping and being out and about. I doubt the gentleman is employed. I expect he is retired. Both assumptions I admit.


Bad assumptions. There is nothing that says male or female or employed or not, and he or she is speaking to help ALL extremely vulnerable people, including those who work. Not everything is about self-serving interest.


Bad assumptions, you assume.


Because I know the author, ukdave, I know you’re wrong. A woman for a start!


it is yourself that ‘misses’ the point, using your argument if it is ‘unsafe’ for those at ‘risk’ they should self isolate’ instead of convicting the innocent.


Who is innocent? If everyone follows the rules, then there is nothing and no one to ‘convict”.


some people like to steal, so lets send everyone to prison.


Again, your analogies don’t make any sense. People need to social distance – it’s not asking much, and whether you believe COVID-19 is bad or just a cold, the amount of effort for you to social distance is minimal, and the stakes for the extremely vulnerable person are high that it’s worth doing. It’s not rocket science. But it is science.


Yes, it is asking a lot. Pubs, restaurants, masses of businesses canntot operate under such conditions.


Because the social distancing is destroying people’s businesses. Have you any idea what is coming?

And your solution, atillathepun? The government is not going to support people to shield any more so they have to go back to work. So you think that customers and fellow co-workers shouldn’t distance themselves and pass the virus on then? Again, tell that to the five friends I have who have died of COVID-19. That’s enough from me from these ridiculous conversations with people who clearly… Read more »

Sometimes there isn’t a solution for everything.
You talk solely about the virus, as if it were the only problem.

On 1 August, shielding stops, so even if you want to keep shielding to protect yourself, the government will no longer support you to do so. If your workplace can be made COVID-19 secure, that’s great, but that doesn’t matter if employees and customer don’t follow the rules at work, or if the commute to and from work is unsafe. People need to social distance properly all… Read more »

you expose your lack of intelligence, IF ewe want to keep shielding yourself, do so, that is your CHOICE, but to imprison the innocent is PURE selfishness.


No one is being imprisoned. This is about asking all people to give two metres distance at all times so that extremely vulnerable people can walk around safely. Did you even read the letter? I think you’re a troll, and selfish, so I’m going to stop feeding you.


What a silly, pedantic comment.