“Your NHS needs you!” ” (“Your NHS needs you!”). It took the Johnson government a week to decide on a real containment of its population, but for the past few days, the time has finally come for mobilization, with the priority of preserving and increasing the means of the public health system, the famous National Health Service (NHS). And the numbers are impressive, testifying to the British’s deep attachment to this institution, a true national icon, as well as the queen or the army.
On Tuesday March 24, Health Minister Matt Hancock launched a massive NHS volunteer recruitment campaign, saying he hoped for 250,000 responses. In the evening, goodwill was already pouring in on Twitter. Ordinary citizens, political activists, students, teachers, the Aston Villa women’s football team or a few “people”, including footballer Kevin Davis …
On Wednesday, March 25, in the evening, Mr. Johnson announced that the initial objective was pulverized and congratulated the “405,000 volunteers is more than the entire population of Coventry [grosse ville du centre de l’Angleterre]. Thank you on behalf of the whole country! ”
These people will be asked to help the 1.5 million citizens deemed vulnerable by the NHS and for whom strict quarantine applies, due to their age (70 years and over) or preexisting pathologies. They will be offered delivery of groceries and medicines at home, telephone support. NHS volunteers will also be able to transport protective equipment to caregivers. This national campaign is likely to structure the myriad of local initiatives that have flourished since last week on WhatsApp or neighborhood social networks.
In addition, 32,500 retired nurses and doctors, but also at the end of their studies, have already been mobilized to take the “front line”, underlines the British government, officially “at war” against the coronavirus. “Stay home, protect the NHS, save lives” : the slogan hammered by Downing Street in recent days is not innocent. The British must stay at home to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed by serious cases. But they must also, first and foremost, protect their NHS, which is also in danger.