Unsurprisingly over the course of the last week my postbag and inbox have been full of constituents very concerned at the rise in corona virus infections and the new period of lockdown.
I listened very carefully to the Prime Minister on Wednesday afternoon when he spoke of how sorry he was that this course of action has had to be taken. Specifically in PMQs he referred to how he felt about churches having to be closed for services, but that private prayer could continue. I know that is a disappointment to many, and some of the letters I have received have been on this issue, it is not a decision the PM took lightly, and as he made clear on Wednesday he was not prepared to take risks with human life. People, understandably, feel very strongly about this, and I understand their concerns. But I also know my 1988 GCSE in Biology does not qualify me to comment on the epidemiology, and I have taken the time over the last week to talk to medics and others working in the field and their concerns are very grave indeed.
Last week during half term I visited the Community Pantry based at Romsey School, which has been providing ingredients, meal suggestions and help with cooking skills to families in Romsey. It is a great initiative and I was pleased to hear about the funding they have received via TVBC to support their great work. I know how lucky I am to have had half decent cooking skills instilled in me by my mother, but I also know not everyone is equipped with them, and the work Jan Lefley and her team do there is absolutely incredible and providing practical immediate help to families.
I also took the opportunity to go and have a look at the Calling Window in Romsey Abbey installed in tribute to Florence Nightingale. This year, perhaps more than ever, we have reason to be grateful to Florence and the nurses of today, who have kept so many of us safe.
Finally, Remembrance Sunday this year is going to be very different. I know that is going to be a bitter blow to the Royal British Legion and the brave veterans who have served our country. But not being able to come together in the Abbey this year does not mean we cannot mark Remembrance Sunday individually and I will certainly be doing just that.