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Great Cornard man fears coronavirus could wipe out elderly generation

A pensioner from Great Cornard has raised concerns over the implications of advising elderly people to self-isolate for an extended period as the coronavirus outbreak takes hold.

Michael Dawson and his wife, Josephine, were self-isolating at home after experiencing symptoms of the disease, which has killed 335 people in the UK.

People aged over 70 and those with underlying health conditions have been told to self-isolate, while others have been told to stay indoors except for daily exercise and buying essentials.

Reflecting on the guidance, Mr Dawson, of Hartest Way, said he was deeply concerned about the long-term impact of imposing such measures.

“If they are asking elderly people to lock themselves away for four months, it’s going to wipe out an entire generation,” he said.

Concerned about the practicality of self-isolation, Mr Dawson has requested clarification over the measures in an online post to the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock.

Pessimistic about Mr Hancock’s approach, Mr Dawson said: “How does he expect people in their 70s to stay indoors and survive? Who is going to help them when they’ve fallen over?”

Due to high demand, Mr Dawson said he was unable to arrange a food home delivery service from a supermarket in Sudbury, and was forced to visit the store himself to buy the household essentials with his mouth covered as a precaution.

The 74-year-old highlighted that vulnerable individuals and the elderly would struggle to cope without the right support network, should they find themselves in a similar position in the coming weeks.

“I’m dreading what will happen to people who don’t have that choice,” he said.

A father-of-four, Mr Dawson said he had advised his daughter to refrain from visiting until he and his wife no longer showed any symptoms of the virus.

Unconvinced about the Government’s advice over the outbreak, Mr Dawson added: “I want the scaremongering to stop until they know what they’re talking about.”

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