Serious times call for serious measures and that is exactly why Queen Elizabeth addressed the United Kingdom amid the coronavirus pandemic.
While the speech was made for Britons, the entire world was watching Her Majesty give a rare address outside of her annual Christmas message. Apart from the year-end tradition, the Queen has only released a separate message on three occasions: the Queen Mother’s death in 2002, after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997 and at the time of the first Gulf War in 1991.
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“I am speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time,’’ the Queen started her broadcast saying. “A time of disruption in the life of our country; a disruption that has brought grief to some, financial difficulties to many and enormous changes to the daily lives of us all.”
The Queen went on to thank NHS staff, “care workers and those carrying out essential roles” as well as those self-isolating.
“I also want to thank those who are staying at home, thereby helping to protect the vulnerable and sparing many families the pain already felt by those who have lost loved ones,” she added.
Queen Elizabeth continued, “And though self-isolating may at times be hard, many people of all faiths, and of none, are discovering that it presents an opportunity to slow down, pause and reflect, in prayer or meditation. It reminds me of the very first broadcast I made, in 1940, helped by my sister. We, as children, spoke from here at Windsor to children who had been evacuated from their homes and sent away for their own safety. Today, once again, many will feel a painful sense of separation from their loved ones. But now, as then, we know, deep down, that it is the right thing to do.”
The Queen then addressed the globe and their efforts to work together to find an end to the pandemic, adding, “We will succeed – and that success will belong to every one of us.”
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She finished her address with, “We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.”
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are asked to self-isolate for 14 days in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.
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