Diary - call goes out for 250,000 volunteers

Another day in the coronavirus saga. With resources at full stretch, the Government launched an urgent appeal for 250,000 volunteers to help the NHS. Staggeringly, by the end of today, that number had been surpassed. What a contrast to the selfish minority, who continue to strip supermarket shelves and, in some cases, abuse the poor staff on duty. The death toll rose to 422 overnight, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock urging people to come forward to help the most vulnerable who are unable to leave their homes. Mr Hancock also asked the wider public for their “forbearance” in dealing with strict curbs to their freedom and urged them to stay inside except under limited circumstances. There is still some confusion on this point, not least in the building industry. For me, it was a day on the phone and email. Working with my fantastic parliamentary team, we are dealing with countless inquiries, many from residents stranded abroad. PPE is top of the list still and I am corresponding with Mr Hancock, who is working flat out to resolve this issue. Sensibly, Dorset Council's CEO has called for a weekly conference call with MPs on Friday mornings to go through concerns and issues. We had our first last week, which lasted some 90 minutes. It's typical that, no sooner are we all restricted to our homes, the sun emerges. Cold mornings are being followed by stunning days, adding to an already surreal situation. Some are now beginning to question for how long can this shut-down go on for. It's a good question. It is hoped that more testing, that's coming, apparently, will reveal who has had this virus. I am convinced this will make us reflect on our current path, which I am not criticising, but it must be regularly reviewed as fresh evidence comes in. As I've said, my wonderful parliamentary team are all up and running and doing all they can to help constituents.