In the past two weeks the Coronavirus outbreak has reached the UK and especially hit capital London hard.
As we continue to assess and re-assess how severe may be its impact on our local community, we have also been inundated by corporate emails reminding us of the measures they are taking to safeguard staff and customers, and continue to provide service to us, whether stores, restaurants, airlines or other places of social gathering.
We salute all efforts to bring awareness of the risks of Coronavirus to the public. But we offer a slightly different perspective in our version here.
A key responsibility of London Scottie Club is to host events that can be deemed safe and fun for everyone. So protection and privacy are key words. That's why a week ago London Scottie Club announced that it was suspending all meetings of the club until further notice.
We warned Scottie owners that if they met it would be privately and at own risk, while the deadly Covid-19, the disease that is caused by Coronavirus persists. So far, the virus spread continues and brings tragic results.
We know already that Coronavirus can be caught by anyone - even a mild version by a Hong Kong-based dog whose owner had caught the virus. But we also know that vulnerable groups, including the elderly or anyone with underlying health issues, is at risk of Covid-19.
Today we go further, and add to protection and privacy two other key words of the club: care and common sense.
So we appeal to Scottie owners who can help to think about those in their local communities who may be vulnerable and need help. Whether running the car to the shops for them and saving them from having to make the trip themselves, whereupon they might put themselves at more risk. That also applies to fellow LSC members. If you need help please reach out to your colleagues via the WhatsApp group and someone will help if you are stranded.
That's the care bit.
As for the common sense: we know that "social distancing", which sounds like some Orwellian concept out of novel 1984 is now being encouraged by the UK Government. This, however, makes common sense. But you still need to walk your Scotties. So by all means walk them as per your daily routine but try to keep a 2 metre distance from fellow dog owners, joggers or other members of the public. While it is nice to stop and chat, do avoid close range.
After all, if you fall ill, your Scottie suffers too.
To finish on a brighter note, I wanted to share with you just how valuable our WhatsApp Convo group has become. Launched two years ago, it has been a cheer-me-up place all of that time, as members share photos and jokes and chat away through the day.
Never has it been as valuable, however, as now. As we all experience the depressing news of Coronavirus, the WhatsApp group has proven to be a beacon of light and hope. A place to escape from the everyday worries over Coronavirus. What is more, members have shared cheerful comments and even photos of dog food box deliveries they have taken as they prepare to rough out the virus outbreak.
While meetings have to be suspended, it is ironic that we need pals now more than ever. And to that purpose, the WhatsApp group serves a hugely important community role for London-based Scotties and their owners. Thank you for making it so vital to us all.
Stay safe and see you soon!