We are living in extraordinary times and it would be amiss of me to write a column on any other subject matter than the Coronavirus outbreak, as our country faces its biggest challenge since the Second World War.
Since the beginning of the year, we have all followed the reports of Coronavirus and the disease it causes, Covid-19, hitting and causing deaths in countries across the globe, knowing that in time, it would eventually reach us here in Wales.
Sadly, that time is now upon us and while it is undoubtably an unnerving period for us all, it is important that we all try to remain calm and follow the guidance that we are receiving from our Prime Minister, the Welsh and UK Governments and the team of experts who advise them.
I think it is also important for us to recognise and celebrate the valiant work that is happening around us at this critical time.
The bravery and commitment of all the army of heroes in our social care and health services, each of whom deserves huge praise indeed. Many of them have families – in many cases young families - and loved ones of their own who require care, reassurance and support throughout these troubled times, but nevertheless they are working flat out under immense pressure to ensure that anyone affected by this pandemic will have the best chance of recovery.
And they are not the only ones, there are also thousands of other key workers who are putting the needs of the country before their own health and well-being and we must pay tribute to them too.
Further, we must also give credit to the increasing troops of volunteers who are helping to ensure that people are getting all the help and support that they need right now. People really want to help, which is truly heartening to see.
With elderly, the vulnerable and those in the at-risk categories self-isolating, and the rest of us on lockdown, it is more important than ever that we take the time to look out for one another and check-in on peoples’ welfare.
Many people in our communities are doing this alone, without a partner for company, so calls, texts and emails will be their only connection with the outside world, it is therefore vital that we all play our part and help ensure that nobody feels cut off during this period, which is likely to last some months.
It is vital that in coming weeks that we continue to pull together, be good neighbours and assist one another as this challenge continues.
Admittedly amongst all this goodwill, there have been some acts of selfishness with people stockpiling, but fortunately the shops are working to address this and I would urge everyone to start shopping responsibly for here on in.
Addressing this pandemic is a marathon, not a sprint, and it will be tough at times for us all, but by working together and behaving responsibly we will get through it. In the meantime follow Government advice to minimise the risk of harm to you and your loved ones, protect our precious NHS, and to save lives.