A seriously at-risk pensioner and army veteran has told of his daily life while self-isolating during the coronavirus pandemic.
Octogenarian Tom Brennan and wife Elaine, aged 81, are sheltering at home in Bucknall with no plans to leave the house for the foreseeable future.
The former Lord Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent (1982/83) and founder of the Sport Awards was an Army athletics champion back in the day.
This week, the ex-army man has criticised the Government’s use of the military during the Covid-19 crisis as ‘slow and sloppy’ and believes it could have been utilised much more effectively. This is his self-isolation diary.
“It’s my daughter’s birthday today and we can’t’ do nothing for it,” said Tom. “So we’ll have to rearrange that. We’re keeping busy. I’ve been in the garden, I’ve cleaned both my sheds out and mowed the lawn.
“Being an ex-military man, I think military-wise it’s honestly been slow and sloppy. And I’m not saying that for political reasons.
“From the first instance, what they should have had is a battalion of soldiers come out to Stoke-on-Trent and other places and be allocated to each ward.
“They could have accommodated in a school in that area as an operational control centre and from there they could look after the most important things, like food stores or health centres. All this sort of thing could have been looked after by now.
“Then they could have helped patrol areas with the police. The town hall would be the centre of operations and there would be some soldiers stationed there to provide extra resources.
“They’re the most organised and efficient organisation we’ve got and they could have helped get this under control much quicker.
“Other countries have done this and it is the best way to get things under control because this is going to be going on for a while.
“I’ve been watching it and I’ve seen all the loopholes. Look at it this way, if you’ve got a forest fire you don’t chase it.
“You get in front of it. You take away all the things that feed it. And we trust our military, we always have.
“And being a little bit political, the health service has been underfunded for years. We’re missing thousands of doctors and nurses.”