Why Leeds won't be beaten by coronavirus pandemic - Laura Collins, YEP Editor

New measures have been enforced over the last week but our city needs to stand together in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Shoppers pictured on the streets of Leeds over the weekend.Shoppers pictured on the streets of Leeds over the weekend.
Shoppers pictured on the streets of Leeds over the weekend.

What a difference a week makes.

Over the last seven days we have seen many twists and turns as the global battle against Coronavirus rages on.

It comes as the Government looks poised to tell the elderly they should self-isolate for up to four months as a measure for their own “self protection”.

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The English Football League announced Leeds United matches would be postponed until next month and the Leeds Rhinos squad made the bold decision to refuse to travel to Spain and shelve their fixture against Catalans Dragons.

And the public transport network has felt slightly quieter this week travelling into Leeds as people work from home or impose a term of self-isolation.

Flights to certain countries were grounded over the weekend and the city’s St Patrick’s Day parade was cancelled to combat the spread of the virus.

And there have been staggering scenes from supermarkets up and down the country as people panic buy in their droves leaving shelves and aisles empty.

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But in and amongst the chaos we have seen some truly outstanding random acts of kindness here in Leeds.

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There have also been messages from those who have made the effort to check on their elderly neighbours to make sure they have someone to turn to should they need to self-isolate.

A fundraising page has also been set up by the team at the Leeds United Supporters Trust to donate the price of a pie and a pint to support the local food bank’s effort now that the match day collections have been postponed.

And there have been calls from the team championing Leeds’ independent food retailers to remind people that if they are heading out to support local traders who are concerned about the impact on their businesses in the coming weeks and months.

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A co-ordinated volunteering hub will soon be launched to make sure that those who need support are given it with a safe and responsible city-wide approach.

But what has been incredibly telling is the sheer resolute determination by Leeds as a city not to be beaten.

While safety is of absolute paramount during these times - many groups, organisations and individuals have shown hope and a sense of true Yorkshire grit with their random acts of kindness already.

This pandemic looks set to be one of the biggest challenges this generation has ever seen.

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And that is why we as a city must continue to pull together as the weeks roll on to support the elderly, the vulnerable, our families, friends and colleagues.

That collective hope and Blitz-style spirit will help to make sure that this compassionate city will not be beaten.