Duvet Musings:

Graham Moore on the staff roof terrace at Westfield HealthGraham Moore on the staff roof terrace at Westfield Health
Graham Moore on the staff roof terrace at Westfield Health
I was buoyed recently to receive a telephone call from the impressive Eye Care Centre at Northern General Hospital to book a date for my second eye to undergo cataract surgery.

It will hold no fears if as successful as the procedure on my first one just a few months ago.

Since the long period of isolation during the pandemic I have tried hard to focus on the positive things in life as it is so easy to find misery if you seek it. True to form as we face recent hot weather we find it so easy to focus on the negativity of that as we are regularly reminded. So it was marvellous to see so many families enjoying themselves in huge numbers at the coast during the last few days.

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Indeed seeing the joy of small children on the donkey rides, digging in the sand and the older ones thoroughly enjoying the scary rides at the Fun Fair brought back good family memories of my own.

Low bottled water supply at Evesham Tesco. August 12 2022.Low bottled water supply at Evesham Tesco. August 12 2022.
Low bottled water supply at Evesham Tesco. August 12 2022.

I reflected that such scenes must by law of averages include those who had suffered during the pandemic and/or hard pressed front line workers now relaxing after a couple of tough years of coping with too many lives and livelihoods lost.

Unfortunately this respite for the everyday pressures will be all too short as we refresh ourselves for what could prove to be our biggest peace time crisis since the height of the pandemic, with the crisis in Ukraine showing no signs of resolution and unprecedented increases in our energy on the cusp of affecting us all in the autumn if not before.

Indeed the installation of signs restricting our local road network access and car emission penalties is a timely reminder that measures intended to alleviate climate change is coming and we have to face the reality of that.

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Adjusting to changes particularly those that affect our normal pattern of embedded behaviour is not easy, but after what I hope is mature debate and adequate consultation that we can achieve the equilibrium of a local consensus.

I am a realist and realise that will no means be easy as changing the habits of a life time never are.

However who would have envisaged the mass of people working from home, virtual meetings and extensive wearing of face masks, that to our credit became common place as we cooperated to protect our health and economy.

That of course left collateral damage as our city centres emptied and significant damage to retail and adjacent hospitality operators still in some cases not fully recovered.

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Indeed we have not yet quantified the mental health pressures and restored customer service levels yet of employees working from home leaving near empty offices, or of our school children returning to associate with their class mates after months of isolated remote education.

Our recovery has been hampered not only by unprecedented cost of living increases, shortage of staff but finding scarcity of most things with longer delivery dates than we can remember, including empty supermarket shelves a regular occurrence.

In fact where panic buying almost became a national pastime I now see reports of consumers buying up stocks of bottled water anticipating the drought restricting water supplies.

No pun intended but a time for cool heads as those personal qualities that saw us through the pandemic, looking after the vulnerable and disadvantaged, will surely be required again to cope with rampant inflation, consequences of climate change and a NHS that will inevitably be under further strain both at GP, Hospital and Ambulance responses level, having not recovered the back log of cases stretching to millions of sufferers.

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All the more reason to enjoy our summer, keep positive maintaining the health and well being disciplines we successfully maintained during the last two years or so.

It will not be easy testing our stamina and necessitating accepting unprecedented Lela of change to keep us and our environment safe for now and future generations to come.

Our predecessors did it during the World Wars, more recently during the Coronavirus and once again this autumn we will be tested again.

When the going gets tough I feel sure the collective Sheffield Grit will keep us going and not without a bit of local good humour and neighbourliness too!

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Indeed the innovation that enabled us to survive pandemic will almost certainly be required to assist the needy cope with unprecedented cost of living challenges as some now have food banks and those of us will remember school breakfast clubs whose extension may not be all that revolutionary now in recent crisis.

We will have to be innovative and empathetic towards our colleagues, friends, colleagues and those neighbours more vulnerable than ourselves coping with the cost of living crisis that is casting a large shadow on our recovery.