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Coronavirus: Supermarkets to "feed the nation" and Laughing at nudists

FROM supermarkets drawing up "feed the nation" contingency plans amid Coronavirus, to pleas to make laughing at nudists a hate crime, these are the news headlines according to This Reporter on Tuesday 3rd March 2020.

As the World Health Organisation declares the world is "in uncharted territory" with this Coronavirus, UK supermarkets have drawn up "feed the nation" contingency plans to cope with any panic buying. Including scaling back the variety of foods and groceries available and instead focusing on maintaining supplies of staple products.
The government has been accused, meanwhile, of failing to grasp the threat of gig economy workers spreading Coronavirus, by continuing to work because they don't get sick pay and can't afford time off. Unions warned there are more than a million such workers, many of whom visit hundreds of addresses every week delivering parcels and takeaways and carrying passengers in minicabs.
As part of the Government's "battle plan", as firmed up yesterday (Monday), emergency measures include stopping mass gatherings and even a "lockdown" of cities, with police and the army on patrol, but experts say the UK is a long way from such a scenario. The total number of confirmed Coronavirus cases in the UK now stands at 39.
In other news - if there actually is any! - Home Secretary Priti Patel looks like she really could be for the high jump, after it transpired that the resignation of chief civil service worker of 30 years Sir Philip Rutman from her department due to what he termed Ms Patel's "vicious" campaign against him, was but the tip of the iceberg, as they like to say.
Following calls for an independent inquiry into how Ms Patel has been treating her workers, by the Labour party, and after the Government passed the rather lacklustre comment that the Cabinet Office "would look into it", a rather chilling tale of how Ms Patel's treatment of one of her permanent secretaries led to them trying to commit suicide has emerged.
Ms Patel allegedly acted "without warning" and with "an unprovoked level of aggression" towards this staff member, culminating in her shouting, "get lost" and "get out of my  face", before sacking her. Legal correspondence alleges the civil servant took an overdose of prescription medicine shortly after the 2015 incident.
Question Time presenter Fiona Bruce has said she did not anticipate how angry the show's audiences would be. Ms Bruce, who took over from broadcaster David Dimbleby last year, described the "level of toxicity" she had witnessed on the show, whilst chatting to the Radio Times.
She said: "I'm all for passionate debate, and sometimes things can be heated, which is fine, up to a point. As long as we remember that we are all human beings...I hadn't anticipated that I would spend so much of my time last year saying, 'we don't talk to each other like this'".
Ms Bruce also threw in that she saw great parallels between Question Time and the other programme she presents, Antiques Roadshow, before clarifying, to some relief, this was because both TV programmes reflected the nation back at itself.
And finally, the president of the UK's largest naturist groups is calling for the abuse of nudists to be classed as a hate crime.
British Naturism chief Dr Mark Bass said some of his members had received abuse from the public whilst "going about their own business" and wants them to be further protected under UK law. Currently, nudists are protected from being fired by companies under the Equality Act 2010 due to nudism being classed as a "philosophical belief", but they were not protected from being shouted at in the street. And guidance towards nudism from the CPS states that a "balance needs to be struck between the naturist's right to freedom of expression and the right of the wider public to be protected from harassment, alarm and distress".
But quite frankly, during this extraordinary chapter in UK history, the least of our concerns should be someone walking down the street with their bits and pieces out. And yet as we witnessed just last week, we are now officially a nation who gets angry at a tea bag.


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