Lorraine Kelly writing for The Sun newspaper...
I don't know about you but I felt greatly reassured this week by the presence of General Sir Nick Carter at a government press briefing.
Standing there in uniform, delivering crisp, authoritative information, the Chief of the Defence Staff gave me a sense of real hope.
Finally, it was good to see an adult in charge, and for the first time I felt everything really was going to turn out all right in the end.
There were no woolly, evasive tactics — instead, just clarity and common sense.
Sir Nick, didn’t sugar-coat what we are all facing.
He said Covid-19 was “the single greatest logistic challenge” he had seen in 40 years of service.
He didn’t downplay the scale of the mountain we all still have to climb but his encouraging words stiffened our resolve to Keep Calm And Carry On.
It was like drinking a cool glass of water and, I swear, I felt the stress oozing out of my body.
The Armed Forces have been playing a blinder.
To be honest, I would have brought in the Army a hell of a lot sooner and given them the task of procuring and distributing PPE so we could have avoided the woeful shortages that have seen nurses having to reuse flimsy aprons and even resort to wearing cagoules to protect themselves on the front line.
Sir Nick also highlighted the work being done by the Army to counteract false information and scare tactics, especially some of the rubbish online, which is unsettling, divisive and utterly irresponsible.
With the typical humility that characterises the British Armed Forces, Sir Nick said the men and women under his command were simply there to support the heroic healthcare workers at the sharp end — both in the NHS and social care.
He also paid tribute to the man of the moment, World War Two veteran Captain Tom Moore, who has raised more than £28 million for the NHS.
Sir Nick said Tom “embodies the sense of service and duty ingrained in the military”.
Indeed he does — and we are seeing examples of that sense of service and duty in all areas of the Armed Forces every single day.
You just have to look at Army cadets such as 15-year-old Chris Johnson, from Warrington, Chesire, who has been making PPE visors for NHS staff using his 3D printer at home.
The RAF is flying in crucial protection equipment, and Army reservists are working to create technology that will make PPE delivery more joined-up and efficient.
Of course, on top of the Covid-19 crisis, the Army, Navy and RAF still have their normal operational tasks to carry out.
But just like our NHS and the police force, the Armed Forces have been subjected to horrendous budget cuts.
These cannot be allowed to continue and must be reversed, even in the extremely tough economic future we all now face.
I sincerely hope, when the dust settles and we are back to some kind of normality, that this Government and each one after it will realise the truly vital jobs are those being done by the men and women who work tirelessly to make and keep our lives safe.
And that they are rewarded with respect, jobs for life — and stonking pay rises.
Courtesy: The Sun newspaper.
Cover image: Lorraine Kelly (Picture: PA).