Queen to open £3.2million monument to honour fallen coronavirus heroes

Killed in the line of duty: Stunning £3.2million monument Queen will open to honour Britain’s fallen emergency services and coronavirus heroes

  • The National Emergency Services Memorial will honour 180 NHS staff who died
  • It will stand 20ft high in central London and also feature police and firefighters
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Prince William have supported the monument 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

A £3.2million monument to honour Britain’s fallen emergency service workers including those who died during the coronavirus pandemic will be opened.

More than 7,000 emergency service workers have died in the line of duty over the last 250 years, with more than 180 NHS staff known to have died from Covid-19.

The National Emergency Services Memorial was planned before the pandemic began but has now been redesigned to honour those who have died this year. 

It will now include a frontline hospital figure wearing a protective face visor and scrubs, in addition to the previous police, fire, maritime rescue, and search and rescue services figures.

A £3.2million monument to honour Britain’s fallen emergency service workers including those who have died during the coronavirus pandemic will be opened in London in 2023

The Queen will open National Emergency Services Memorial designed by Philip Jackson (left), which will feature a frontline hospital figure wearing a protective face visor and scrubs as well as police, fire, maritime rescue, and search and rescue services figures

The five-sided bronze monument will be opened in 2023 by the Queen, featuring six eight foot figures and a spaniel to represent all service animals.

It will stand at 20 foot tall and be located in central London at a site yet to be determined.

What figures will feature on the National Emergency Services Memorial and what will they represent?

  • A male police officer 
  • A male firefighter
  • A female paramedic to represent the ambulance service and other healthcare agencies like St John Ambulance
  • A female doctor to represent the NHS
  • A male maritime worker to represent HM Coastguard and Lifeboat Services
  • A male search and rescue volunteer
  • A spaniel search and rescue dog to represent emergency services animals. 

Sculptor Philip Jackson, who designed the Bobby Moore statue outside Wembley Stadium, has been working on the project for more than a year. 

He said: ‘Because of what has happened with this dreadful pandemic, we decided that the NHS side of the monument should be reinforced with a secondary figure.

‘So the paramedic now has a companion in the nurse-doctor figure,’ he told Sky News. 

The Royal College of Nursing and British Medical Association have both welcomed the new plans.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, said: ‘It takes a very special kind of person to put your life on the line for a complete stranger.

‘You are heroes of British life. If we dial 999, we know you will be there for us,’ he told The Daily Express.

Prince William, a former Air Ambulance pilot, said: ‘We owe our well-being, and indeed our lives, to our emergency services who work tirelessly to protect us.

‘It is only fitting we recognise the vital role they play.’

The project will cost an estimated £3.2million and is being funded through public donations.

Designer Philip Jackson also designed statues of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother on The Mall and the Bomber Command memorial in Green Park, all in London.

The new design, featuring hospital workers wearing Personal Protective Equipment to honour the 180 NHS staff who have died during the pandemic, has been welcomed by former Air Ambulance pilot Prince William (left) and Prime Minister Boris Johnson (right), who recently suffered from coronavirus in an NHS hospital

Designer Philip Jackson also designed the Bomber Command memorial in Green Park, London, which was vandalised with white paint in January 2019 (above)

The National Emergency Services Memorial charity was founded by Tom Scholes-Fogg, 28, in Autumn 2016.

He was inspired to create the monument by his grandfather his grandfather John Scholes, a retired Greater Manchester Police Sergeant. 

The memorial has also received support from Arlene Foster, the First Minister of Northern Ireland, Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, and Mark Drakeford, the First Minister of Wales. 

  • Donations to the memorial can be made here: www.NESM.org.uk/donate 

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Newcastle ‘open talks with Coutinho’ as they leapfrog Man Utd, Arsenal and Chelsea in transfer race for Barcelona flop – The Sun

NEWCASTLE have opened talks with Philippe Coutinho and lead Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea in the race to sign him, according to reports.

The Magpies have moved to land the ex-Liverpool man ahead of their imminent mega-money Saudi backed takeover.

Reports earlier today suggested the Gunners plan to start discussions with the 27-year-old soon while United and Chelsea have been linked for months.

But the Toon have beaten the Premier League trio to the punch and begun talks with the playmaker and his camp, according to Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo.

They are said to have explained the ambitious new project planned at St James' Park if the takeover goes through.

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Trump tells governors to open churches, synagogues and mosques IMMEDIATELY and orders CDC to deem them ‘essential’ – The Sun

PRESIDENT Donald Trump ordered governors to open churches, synagogues and mosques immediately.

"Today I'm identifying houses of worship – churches, synagogues and mosques – as essential places that provide essential services," Trump said at the White House Friday.

"I call upon governors to allow our churches and places of worship to open right now," he added.

"If there is any question, they're going to have to call me but they're not going to be successful in that call."

The President criticized governors who deemed "liquor stores and abortion centers" essential, but not places of worship.

"It's not right," he said at the press conference. "So I'm correcting this injustice."

"These are places that hold our society together and keep our people united."

More to come.

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Are golf courses open now in the UK? – The Sun

GOLF courses all over the UK have been closed during the coronavirus lockdown, along with most other sports.

Yet, following Boris Johnson's speech on Sunday, May 10, rules are set to be relaxed – and that includes golf courses.

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When will golf courses reopen in the UK?

There is good news for golf fans as Boris Johnson revealed Brits can go to golf courses from Wednesday, May 13, as part of the slight relaxing of lockdown rules.

His rules only apply to England – courses in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are remaining closed.

Tennis and a number of other sports are also among those being welcomed in the first steps of returning to some normalcy.

But you will only be allowed to play golf with those you live with.

In his speech on May 10, Mr Johnson said: "From this Wednesday [May 13], we want to encourage people to take more and even unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise.

"You can sit in the sun in your local park, you can drive to other destinations, you can even play sports but only with members of your household."

The R&A clarified the position by releasing a statement saying: "The UK Government has announced that golf will be able to resume in England on Wednesday, 13 May 2020.

"All outdoor sport must be done alone or within a household group and that includes golf.

"There is no change to the current position in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and so golf courses in these countries must remain closed for now."

The golfing body added: "As a sport we must work together to resume play responsibly as and when the relevant Government determines it is safe to do so.

"We must ensure that the safety and wellbeing of everyone involved from golfers, to club staff and greenkeepers is maintained at all times.

"Golf clubs and golfers have observed the lockdown very well and must keep it up and act responsibly as play resumes."

Golf courses have been closed since the lockdown was put in place as people were forced to remain in their homes, in a bid to protect the NHS and save lives.

There had previously been calls for the sport to return before others due to its open nature.

In April, there had been pressure on the government from campaigners to let the vacant golf spaces be used by members of the public for exercise.


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Are golf courses reopening in Ireland?

Yes, golf courses are reopening again in Ireland.

Despite the ongoing coronavirus lockdown, Golf Ireland has confirmed that its courses will be open on a restricted basis from May 18, 2020.

A statement released by Golf Ireland said: "In the initial stage, play will be for members only and competitions will not be permitted."

This announcement comes after the Irish government said that "some outdoor sporting activities will be allowed".

Have golf courses reopened in other countries?

Golf courses around the world are beginning to open again.

Courses in Portugal and New Zealand have already been opened.

The French Golf Federation has announced that its courses will also be re-opening on May 11, with restrictions expected to be lifted on the same day in Switzerland and Spain.

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Why Prince Harry Is More Open About His Mental Health Struggles Than Prince William, According to Expert

Though both Prince Harry and Prince William are vocal about mental health awareness, Prince Harry has been more open about his own struggles over the years. One royal expert shared the reason why Harry has shared more about his mental health than his brother.

Prince Harry struggled with processing his mother’s death

Losing his mother Princess Diana at such a young age was traumatic for Prince Harry, but he buried the grief down deep and carried on. Eventually, repressing his sadness bubbled to the surface and he found himself battling some significant mental health issues.

Prince Harry opened up about his mental health struggles during a 2017 interview with The Telegraph’s Bryony Gordon on the Mad World podcast. “I can safely say that losing my mum at the age of 12, and therefore shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years, has had a quite serious effect on not only my personal life but my work as well,” he shared.

“I have probably been very close to a complete breakdown onnumerous occasions when all sorts of grief and sort of lies and misconceptionsand everything are coming to you from every angle,” he added.

In his 20s, it came to a head, as Prince Harry shared that “allof this grief that I have never processed started to come to the forefront andI was like, there is actually a lot of stuff here that I need to deal with.”      

Prince Harry is more open than his brother

Prince Harry has been more open about his personal issues than William for a good reason. CEO of mental health clinic Smart TMS, Gerrard Barnes, shared with Express why there’s such a difference in the way each brother discusses mental health.

“Harry has a different role in the monarchy if he even has any role at all at the moment,” Barnes noted. “Prince Harry is not an heir to throne in a direct way that Prince William is, he is able to speak out in ways that William doesn’t feel able to talk about.”

He added, “He has got more latitude and opportunitythan William. One would hope that if Prince William has any mental healthissues of his own he has a support network around him.”

“People he can rely on when he needs them, thesepeople, you would imagine are confidential,” Barnes shared. “They keepthese things to themselves as it would not be good for these things to becomepublic without his say so.”

Kate Middleton has been candid as well

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge was praised for her candid interview in February on the Happy Mum, Happy Baby podcast, in which she shared how she experiences mom guilt just like everyone else.

Royal author Leslie Carroll told Express that Kate might have been inspired by the way Harry has been so open. “Perhaps the duchess was inspired by Harry’s candid guest podcast appearance discussing his 20-year struggle to cope with the death of his mother,” Carroll explained.

She added, “And the mental health issues that dog him to this day when he’s in large crowds such as walkabout. Fears about paparazzi that have led him to be so protective about Meghan and Archie because he was unable to protect his mum.”

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When will Wetherspoon open? – The Sun

WETHERSPOON is planning a return after the government's lockdown forced pubs to shut across the country.

The chain has announced it is preparing to resume operations "in or around June".

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When will Wetherspoon reopen?

Wetherspoon plans on reopening its pubs "in or around June", according to the chain.

It is working to put in social distancing measures ahead of its opening to adhere with government guidelines.

The pubs, which is one of the biggest pub chains in the country, will make use of its larger facilities, according to the brand.

According to spokesperson Eddie Gershon: "Wetherspoon has no hotline to the government as to when pubs might be permitted to reopen and we doubt if the government itself has yet made a decision on this.

"Like all companies we are trying to make a plan for the future and are guessing that they may be allowed to reopen in late June, around three months after they closed.

"However, that is just an estimate and may prove to be entirely incorrect.

Join our George Cross campaign for NHS staff

We are urging Sun readers to sign a petition calling for our NHS staff to be awarded the George Cross.

We are backing a proposal by Lord Ashcroft to honour our health heroes with the gallantry gong given for acts of bravery that did not take place in battle.

A No10 spokesman said: “The NHS is doing a fantastic job and the nation will want to find a way to say thank you when we have defeated this virus.” SAS hero Andy McNab added: “The award of a George Cross would show an emotional appreciation.”

We are asking our readers to please sign the petition below.

When did all pubs shut?

A government spokesperson at the time said: "We have been clear about the importance of social distancing and the need for people, especially in vulnerable groups and in other age groups, to do so.

"We have been clear about our guidance around social gatherings and again we have asked the public to do what we have asked the public to do."

What has been said about pubs being closed?

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove has said that pubs would be one of the last to reopen after the lockdown.

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Garden centres won’t open in time for May Bank Holiday after Dominic Raab said doing so could damage public health – The Sun

THE Government quashed hopes that garden centres will open in time for the May bank holiday.

The Sun’s legendary gardening editor Peter Seabrook called for the centres to reopen after losing his wife Margaret to coronavirus.

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But First Secretary of State Dominic Raab said opening them “would risk damage to the public health, our economy, and frankly the progress that we've made”.

Our gardening expert Peter told on Wednesday in The Sun how reopening gardening centres would help the nation heal from the crisis.

He said: “That is why I am imploring Prime Minister Boris Johnson to please, please, please make a special case and allow garden centres and retail nurseries to open this weekend.

“I ask in the interests of the physical and mental well-being of all of us as we continue to endure lockdown.”

But on Wednesday Mr Raab shut the door on the idea, and said: “I totally appreciate the value of garden centres and nurseries.

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“The current advice I've indicated from SAGE was that relaxing any of those measures, including the ones that he refers to would risk damage to the public health, our economy, and frankly the progress that we've made, the sacrifices, so many have made the, the lives that have been lost.”

He said that the science group SAGE will continue to keep the issue on “very close review.”

Tory MP Mark Pritchard asked Mr Raab if they would be allowed to reopen under the next phase of the lockdown.

Mr Raab replied: "I understand entirely why it's so important both economically, but also socially, particularly for certain members of our community … for whom it will be an important means of getting outdoors and getting out of the lockdown.

"SAGE has already considered it once, I know it will consider garden centres and nurseries again, and I know he will expect us to continue to be guided by the evidence.

"But he has made his point in a powerful way and it's certainly very firmly registered that this is an important area for us to look at for the future."


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CVS Stores Are Staying Open During The Coronavirus Pandemic, But Employees Said They Feel Unsafe

  1. politics
  2. Coronavirus

“We had a single bottle of Lysol spray, which I finished using three days ago, since we’re constantly cleaning the counters.”

ByAddy Baird

The journalists at BuzzFeed News are proud to bring you trustworthy and relevant reporting about the coronavirus. To help keep this news free, become a member and sign up for our newsletter, Outbreak Today.

WASHINGTON — With several states under shelter-in-place orders, thousands of nonessential businesses closed, and millions of people self-quarantining due to the coronavirus outbreak, workers at grocery stores and pharmacies are on the front lines, staffing some of the few essential businesses remaining open as the pandemic spreads.

For many people across the country, CVS is one of the last open places to pick up food, cleaning supplies, and medication, staffed by employees who are risking their health to keep the pharmacies open.

But some CVS employees say the company isn’t doing enough to protect them from getting sick while working through the outbreak. Workers from stores in several different states — including New York, which has the highest number of cases in the nation — said they are working without masks and gloves and running low on vital cleaning supplies. (Employees at Amazon and Costco have voiced similar concerns to BuzzFeed News.)

Many of the 12 employees who spoke to BuzzFeed News asked to be kept anonymous, saying they were worried the company would retaliate against people who spoke publicly about their concerns.

“There’s one little box of gloves. I don’t know if they’re still there,” one 21-year-old Virginia CVS employee said in a recent phone call. “But other than that, it’s like, literally nothing. There’s some spray bottles [with powered cleaning mix] … but that’s about it.”

The worker said he had asked his manager if the company is going to provide any additional cleaning and health supplies and couldn’t get a clear answer. The air conditioning in the store has also been broken for several months, he said, and hasn’t been fixed despite the pandemic.

“Who knows who’s gonna have the coronavirus,” he said. “From higher-ups, it’s kind of like business as usual. It’s scary, I’m always going in the bathroom and washing my hands.”

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The Virginia employee said he doesn’t want to go into work because he’s increasingly worried about getting sick, but he needs to get paid, so he continues to go in. “I’m not really, like, confident in like my higher-ups to kind of protect me,” he said.

Another employee, a 33-year-old working in a New York store, told BuzzFeed News in a Twitter DM that they did not have gloves or masks until this week, when there were already thousands of cases in the area.

“We are limited on our cleaning products,” they wrote. “I know we had a single bottle of Lysol spray, which I finished using three days ago, since we’re constantly cleaning the counters. We can’t clean after every person though, there is simply no way to do so.”

Last week, the New York employee said, a customer came in and said they had tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, but that they had no one to come pick up their medication for them.

“When I was told this, I was, thankfully, across the pharmacy. But I did make sure to tell the person checking her out, where I was sure the customer wouldn’t hear or know what I was doing,” they said. “I had the other tech move to another register once he was done with her — so I could clean up. I cleaned the whole counter down with Lysol and the area [where the customer had] been standing waiting, as well as where she’d spoken to the pharmacist.”

That night, the employee said, a manager called corporate about the incident and was on hold for two hours. Later, the manager told the employee who spoke to BuzzFeed News that the store would stay open and they would continue to clean the same way they had been.

The employee said they are concerned about what might happen, especially because they live with their parents, who are both over 60.

“The company as a whole seems to not honestly care about people’s health, as they say they do, but rather profits,” the New York employee wrote. “In a crisis like this they shouldn’t be caring about that as much. They would rather keep us open, not limit people, or anything which may put even a dent into the profits.”

It’s not just employee health on the line, the person noted, writing, “I worry if they wind up sitting and waiting for medication who they may come into contact with. Someone elderly? A cancer patient? A mom with a young child?”

Even CVS CEO Larry Merlo acknowledged it’s a problem.

“The biggest challenge we’re having is access to personal protective equipment, like masks and gloves,” Merlo said in a recent interview with Barron’s. “We’ve been pursuing all avenues to secure those products. We’re prioritizing highly impacted areas to get those products to our pharmacists, technicians, and front-line employees. But there’s more work to be done on that.”

In an email to BuzzFeed News, Mike DeAngelis, CVS’s senior director for corporate communications, said that all store employees are receiving masks this week and that they have instituted hourly protocols for cleaning hard surfaces and “more frequent cleaning of commonly handled items.”

“Pharmacies are a critical resource for communities across the country, and we’ll continue to be here for customers and patients in these trying times,” DeAngelis wrote. “We’re working around the clock to increase availability of supplies and update protocols to ensure our stores are safe for employees and customers alike.”

In a follow-up email, DeAngelis added, “We are providing our stores with the necessary cleaning supplies and re-supplying as needed.”

CVS has eliminated delivery fees for medication, and employees said they hope people will take advantage of the service instead of coming into the stores. Others said they wanted to institute curbside pickup so employees with protective gear could deliver prescriptions and other products from the store to people in their cars.

Other CVS employees said they felt management and the company is at least trying to keep employees safe. Jason Reinhardt, a CVS employee in Murrieta, California, said employees at his store have gloves and hand sanitizer.

“I would like for them to provide [us] with masks during this time, but I understand the difficulties in obtaining them in a crisis,” Reinhardt said in an email.

But another California employee said there’s no requirement that employees wear gloves or masks, adding that he thinks it is up to the pharmacists in any given store to decide whether employees have to wear them. (CVS did not respond to a BuzzFeed News question about whether this is the case.)

Linda Fajardo, a 20-year-old CVS employee in Pembroke Pines, Florida, said her manager recently instituted a system where employees write down everything they touch to help the staff clean effectively. Employees at her store don’t have masks yet either, but so far Fajardo said they have enough cleaning supplies to sanitize as needed. She said she has also started a system for herself where she doesn’t touch any products when she rings people up and has customers bag their own purchases.

“I feel actually kind of comfortable about it. We were keeping up very well with the sanitation of everything,” she said. “People actually follow the rule — it’s a 6-foot rule — that everyone actually stays their distance … A lot of the customers come in with their gloves and their masks and they’re actually sanitizing as they pick up the products as well.”

Another employee said they would like the company to allow them to hang signs saying what products they’re out of (like hand sanitizer, cleaning wipes, and gloves) and when the next shipment will come, to keep people looking for them out of the store until the products are stocked.

“You would think that these signs would be helpful in reducing the spread of COVID-19 and promote social distancing. It gives some of us a mixed message,” the employee wrote in a DM. “The message I am getting is that they want us to practice self distancing, protect ourselves and the public from getting sick, and limit the amount of people at the stores but at the same time they want profits, aka people coming into the store and buying something.”

The same employee said they have no masks provided to them at their store, and if they want to wear them, they have to bring their own.

Many employees said they’ve been using the CVS subreddit to vent their frustrations. The page is riddled with horror stories from CVS employees around the country.

“Before my shift at 3pm today we found out one of our Pharmacists has tested positive. Steps were taken and our upper management has said ‘It’s alright. She hasn’t been at the store for over 5 days,’” one user wrote this week. “My [store manager] was in close contact with them for over 45 mins the day before she came down with all the symptoms…which in turn we’ve been in close contact with our SM. So my store will continue operating even though a fair number of us have all been exposed. No cleaning or closing, just keep tagging seasonal.”

In addition to concerns about safety and cleanliness, many employees said they’re confused about when and if they will get bonuses promised by CVS.

In the Barron’s interview, Merlo said, “Our colleagues feel tremendous purpose in wanting to help their communities. We’re providing cash bonuses to pharmacists, store associates, managers, and hourly store employees.”

“First time I’m hearing of this as it hasn’t been discussed at my store,” the Virginia employee said in a text message. A California employee said they’d heard talk about bonuses as well, but added, “I’m not too sure about that, if it’s just a rumor or actually true.”

The 33-year-old New York employee said they hadn’t heard any details either.

“I know I’ve seen a petition going about, for CVS workers to sign, asking for hazard pay,” they wrote. “The bonuses they are saying we’ll get won’t be till May. But what about right now? What about people at risk of getting sick? What if they get sick and rack up bills?”

In an email, DeAngelis, the CVS spokesperson, wrote, “The bonuses were just announced this week and further details will be communicated directly to employees.” But the New York employee thinks that, at this point, it might all be too little, too late.

“We’ve seen on the news what was happening in other countries,” they said in a message. “Why did CVS wait and drag their feet on things? We knew it would hit us and we could predict it would hit bigger cities hard. Why not act fast? … I think we could have really taken a spotlight role, but we failed to.”

Do you have questions you want answered? You can always get in touch. And if you’re someone who is seeing the impact of this firsthand, we’d also love to hear from you (you can reach out to us via one of our tip line channels).

More on this

  • Costco Employees Are Testing Positive For The Coronavirus And Their Coworkers Say Managers Aren’t Being TransparentBrianna Sacks · March 26, 2020
  • Costco Employees Say They’re Not Properly Protected To Be On The “Front Lines” Of The Coronavirus PandemicBrianna Sacks · March 21, 2020
  • The Coronavirus Is Continuing To Spread Through Amazon’s FacilitiesCaroline O'Donovan · March 25, 2020
  • Addy Baird is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.

    Contact Addy Baird at [email protected]

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