Reply To: Coronavirus

Peter Wright

Easter Newsletter

1. The scheduled June round of DMCs has now been formally cancelled.
2. National guidance on precautions from Public Health England (PHE) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) continues to change frequently and suddenly; new guidance on masks was given last Sunday without notice. Further information on construction works from Camden is attached. I am seeking clarification of some of it, given there are ongoing issues between construction companies and HSE and PHE over implementing their official guidance (see here). Guidance on gas safety checks (which Camden is bound to follow for tenanted properties) has also changed as set out here.
3. A TRA has suggested we fund Age UK Camden to send out basic food parcels. I will explore that with other DMC Chairs and would be grateful for views from TRAs. Have you heard of residents who are having problems getting food?
4. A revised and updated list of resources during the pandemic is appended; almost all are free.
5. The good news is that 70% of those entering St Thomas’ ICU with coronavirus infection are leaving alive and recovered, and new ways of treating the disease are emerging so that may rise.

Further Camden Information on Construction Work
The safety and wellness of our residents and people working for the Council – whether staff or contractors – is our first priority. The Council is taking action across its services to make sure that we keep staff and residents safe during the current Covid-19 crisis.
Some essential work and services continue and at present this includes external works, Fire Safety Works and Mechanical & Electrical works to keep homes safe and in good repair.
We have set out our expectations with regards safe working following advice from our Public Health team.
Our contractors have been asked to make sure that their operatives and staff have personal protective equipment where this is required, observe good hand hygiene and practice social distancing to keep everyone safe.
We have put in place an inspection regime to make sure these new working arrangements are monitored. More detailed arrangements are as follows:
• On entering site workers are to maintain social distancing and undertake hand-washing at regular intervals throughout the day. Those showing any symptoms or are known to have come into contact with potential carriers are to self-isolate in line with PHE recommendations.
• Where external works are undertaken to a building, contractors are to ensure social distancing or proper use of PPE in line with a specific risk assessment. Aside from Covid-19 risks, relevant PPE pertaining to the tasks being delivered would be worn, this may include face masks where dust is produced and gloves where required for manual handling etc.
• Window replacement works have been placed on hold owing to the general requirement to have multiple workers operating inside properties during the installation process
• FRA works – the replacement of front doors and installation of communal alarms and smoke / heat detectors in resident’s hallways (in line with recommendations of the Fire Risk Assessments) can proceed provided contractors have confirmed safe methods of work and residents confirm that they are:
o Not currently self-isolating
o Not currently diagnosed with COVID-19
o Not in groups considered at risk
o Able to comply with social distancing arrangements, i.e. isolating themselves from the work area through the installation process.
• Communal area works – works to communal areas can proceed provided they have relevant safe working methods which maintain social distancing. These will be individually assessed as to whether they can progress depending on the design of the building, number of staircases and likely degree of resident interaction.

Resources During the Pandemic

Camden Council has a webpage here. It appealed for volunteers and I am advised that some 650 responded. They have been directed to voluntary sector groups. Camden seems to have partnered with Voluntary Action Camden (VAC) which is coordinating voluntary sector activity; and with age UK Camden which is developing more personal services.
VAC is trying to list and support local groups; you can see their work here, and the list of groups here.
Age UK Camden sets out its activities here. The main one delivers basic food to those in need.
Finally, the Housing Department will telephone residents regularly to check they are OK,and arrange any of the above; call Camden Council on 0207 974 4444 and choose option 9. Internet access is welcomed.

Other Local Activity
COVID-19 Mutual Aid UK has published a list of local groups here. Camden COVID-19 Mutual Aid has a Facebook page here.
The Cooperative Society has a website for local support groups and citizens here.
Nextdoor ( is a website for local groups and volunteers. It has listed its volunteers to help with the pandemic on a map so you can see who lives near you; it is here.
The ‘Camden New Journal’ has ongoing reporting of the pandemic here.

‘Which’ summarises supermarket arrangements here.
New Covent Garden is now offering home deliveries here.
So is Borough Market with some on-site activity see here.
Berwick Street Market is active see here and for Soho Dairy see footnote
The fruit stall in Kingsway is offering home deliveries; e-mail website here.

Government Action
The government and utility companies have reached an agreement to help people with energy bills which you can find here.
The Chartered Institute of Housing has listed government initiatives and guidance relevant to housing professionals (which means you too) here and intends to update it.

Theatre from TimeIn (was TimeOut) here;
National Theatre here.
The Globe Theatre explained here, and available here.
Hampstead Theatre here.
Lloyd Webber Theatres here.
The show must go on, weekly Shakespeare readings here.
Royal Court Theatre ‘Cyprus Avenue’ here.
‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ from Birmingham here.
Art exhibitions
London Art Fair here.
Photo London here.
Daily from the Metropolitan Opera, New York here.
Royal Opera house here.
Ring Cycle from Opera North here.
English Touring Opera (about to start and you can subscribe) here.
Vienna State Opera House here.
Berlin Philharmonic main website in English here, and online resources here.
London Symphony Orchestra here.
Royal Opera House concerts here.
Concerts and performances from King’s Place here and here.
Jazz from the Lincoln Centre New York here.
From artists at home:
Julia Bullock here.
Nadia Serota Living Music Pirate Radio here.
Angela Hewitt here.
Andrea Bocelli here.
Popular from JamBase here.
Dance from Sadlers’ Wells here.
Alvin Ailey Theatre here.
Bolshoi Theatre here.
Royal Albert Hall here.
Whitechapel Gallery here.
Performances from the Southbank Centre here and here.
Soho Theatre performance recordings can be rented here, including Fleabag for COVID-19 charities.
Cirque du Soleil here.
Penguin authors speaking from home weekly here.

Family Orientated
Ideas from Gumtree here and for Easter here.
Home Education courses here and from the Spectator here.
Free English, Maths and Sciences Courses for pupils of all ages here.
Museums online can be found here, and British Museum podcasts here.
Virtual Chelsea Flower Show here.
Somerset House here.
Anglican Easter Church services are online here.

Comments from the founder of Seedrs here and here.

If you want to read about the science of the virus, you can access articles from the ‘Scientific American’ here.
Cambridge University Centre Science and Policy has a series of podcasts on Science Policy and Pandemics here.

(Footnote: Soho Dairy is up and running @BerW1ckStMarket with naturally high nutrition milks, creams, eggs, cheeses, butters, loo roll and sanitiser refill (bring your own bottle) Monday to Saturday 7am to 3pm through this episode – 02078494550 @SohoDairy)