In coronavirus chaos let’s spare a thought for NHS angels, says Fiona Phillips

Do we all agree that these are worrying times? I think we do, right?

So we need to remember that old slogan, Keep Calm And Carry On, used in desperately frightening circumstances during the Second World War.

I say this as my eldest son sits in his room upstairs having been sent home from his job in a pub because the chef has tested positive for coronavirus.

Naturally, I’m hoping that my son hasn’t contracted it, but I’m also secretly enjoying his self-isolation and sudden realisation – 20 years late – that bed clothes ­actually need changing. And that I can’t be the one to do it. Ha!

You see, there are some benefits. Just hope we don’t have to take advantage of them for too long or, God help us, because the rest of the household contracts the virus. In the meantime I’m going to relish the sudden domestication of my ­quarantined son.

It’s a minor miracle in the midst of worrying times. He’s even cleaned the bathroom!

As always, though, while we worry about our own and our loved ones’ welfare, our selfless ­frontline workers, our unsung heroes, the amazing nurses, doctors and paramedics on duty, literally HAVE to keep calm and carry on and, while they’re at it, pay for the extra parking charges incurred for working well past their regular hours.

That, in effect, means that they’re financially penalised for having the decency to continue working beyond the call of duty, in order to care for and to continue reassuring worried strangers. For this selfless sense of responsibility, they’ll be clocking up hours of extra parking time.

These are public service workers, angels in many patients’ eyes, selfless, caring, kind – the shopfront for the NHS and its reputation. Yet a staff nurse working shifts on the frontline in a London hospital during these worrying times – for them as well as for us – can expect to pay up to £77 per day in parking charges.

The average annual salary for a staff nurse is £24,682.

Five days of parking at £77 per day is £385. Do the maths. It’s pretty shocking.

Hospitals must surely waive parking charges for staff during this worrying time. They should not be penalised for caring and consoling. Meanwhile, please don’t disturb me over the weekend – I’ll be busy sanitising door handles, remote controls, table tops and the kitchen work surfaces.

I suggest you do the same. And DON’T PANIC!

Oh, hang on… Sorry, that was my son phoning me from upstairs. He wants to know if he can order a Deliveroo!

It’s almost ­business as usual…

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