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COVID-19 Story So Far

View profile for David Darlington
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At the start of 2020 expectations were high. Talk was of a record gold haul in the Olympics in Japan, whether we would leave the EU on time, whether Liverpool would finally win a Premier League title. There was talk of holidays abroad in the sun, family weddings, the breakthrough year for the electric car and Harry Kane lifting the Euros trophy at Wembley on 12th July 2020 (or at least that’s what they told me when I was having my photo taken with the trophy at Wembley in February)!

The reality of what the year will be remembered for is very different and truthfully none of us really know what the rest of the year holds. All we know for now is a virus that was happening on the other side of the world in January and was referred to in dispatches has shaken the country to the core. 

We have been in a lockdown since 23rd March 2020 which, at the moment, has no end date. Hopefully though, the memories when we look back on this time won’t be of the virus itself but what has come out of it; memories of the time that we all had to work from home whilst also looking after the kids, when we had a special appreciation for what teachers do, when we met friends and relatives over the internet and worked out how to use Zoom and Microsoft Teams. We will recall the morning PE classes with Joe Wicks and the important lessons we learned about not going to the bathroom with our video messaging devices! More importantly though, we’ll remember the sense of community and togetherness that came out of it, despite being apart; the resolve of the British people to beat it; the love and support of our fantastic NHS and keyworkers appreciated every week and the heroism of a 99 year old world war two veteran who raised over £28 million for the NHS and had a number one hit with Michael Ball.

Sadly though some will remember the virus instead and the devastation it brought to their family or business. 

Fieldings Porter has fought its way through world wars and recessions numerous times since 1871 and we pride ourselves on our forward thinking and personable approach being there for our clients through the highs and lows of life. It is in that spirit that we continue to be here for you now and whilst most of our staff are now working from home, we remain dedicated to helping clients in any way that we can. We are most definitely still open for business and your lawyers can be contacted ether via e-mail or through the usual phone channels to answer all your legal questions. 

We want to help you to make the most of this situation and hopefully you can then see this as an opportunity to plan for the future and fight your way out the other side, either as an individual or a business. 

To help you through at this time we have put together a few pages of information that you may find useful at this time. Of course, in this ever-changing world you may need to check back and make sure the notes haven’t been updated since you last read them. Here are a few links of things you might find of assistance:

Coronavirus Lockdown Rules – What does is mean for me?

Which businesses have to close to the public during the lockdown?

What measures are available to help businesses through the Coronavirus outbreak?

Financial Support for Individuals and Self-Employed Individuals 

Covid-19 and its effect on Employment

Furlough leave and what this means for employers 

Hospitality and leisure sector considerations during the Coronavirus outbreak

How is the property sector impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak?

Finally, a few thoughts to consider as we work our way through this time together:

  1. Keep structure in your day – it’s worth structuring your day where you can in a similar way to how you would have done if you were in work normally. If you would have had a networking meeting in person, attend it on the video conference instead. Keep those deadlines and tasks that were in your diary before as best you can and remember to move away from your home desk as you would have done at work to go to the toilet or copier.
  2. Be understanding – remember that we are all in this together. Many businesses have furloughed staff or are trying to navigate their way through remote working when they weren’t set up to do it; others are juggling trying to work full time with home schooling the kids; and many are just worried, stressed and upset about what is going on. It means that people might take a bit longer to complete tasks or come back to you than they did before or they may need a bit more support than usual. 
  3. Be neighbourly – take some time to think about your neighbours, your friends and your work colleagues. This is a tough time for everyone and we are all vulnerable in different ways. It might be that our relatives and neighbours are physically vulnerable and fall into the shielding categories, but it could equally be that friend or colleague who lives alone and now has no-one to see or anywhere to go. Think about how you can help those closest to us in this way, maybe a video or phone call, an e-mail, or a text message to let them know they are not alone and give them some human contact. Make people smile or laugh to cheer their mood – that silly outfit or video call quiz can make all the difference.
  4. Plan for the future – times like this remind us how important it is to enjoy the here and now, but also to plan for the future. Think about the ‘what ifs’ in your life and in your business. Draft a business plan and cashflow to cover the worst case and best case scenarios over the next 12 – 18 months based on the information you have now. Check your life insurance, your mortgage and your will. Does your will do what you want it to? Would the people you intend to inherit should the worst happen? What about if you were unable to make decisions for a period of time – do you have a lasting power of attorney in place for your own affairs or the affairs of your business? If the answer to any of these is no, give us a ring or drop us an e-mail at Fieldings Porter and we’ll help guide you through what you need to do.
  5. Stay safe – follow the Public Health England (or Wales if you are there) guidelines on social distancing and the regulations on the lockdown. The guidance and rules are there to help us all. So let’s stay home, stay safe and save lives.

As always at Fieldings Porter Solicitors we are here to provide legal services to you, your family and your business. Whatever your legal needs contact us for help and advice.