Current Affairs – ie Corona Virus issues aka Covid-19

It is hard to keep up with the torrent of emails currently. But to do our best: Starting with the most recent:

On 28 Mar 2020

Coronavirus updates – and some other happier stuff! 

Help and helpers

People are really getting into the swing of asking for help, and getting it from friends and neighbours who have volunteered. We are aware of several very active street based groups especially Ryland Road. Renewed thanks to Robbie in Alma Street for suggesting that IARA starts this wider one. We are particularly keen to reach some areas and individuals who may not be well connected to neighbours – yet.

We’ve had three requests for prescription pick ups (all successfully matched with a volunteer), one for help to re-set TV channels, and a couple for food supplies (also successfully sorted). Another one for general support – plus we’re aware of neighbours phoning each other to check everyone’s ok. It’s really heartening.

It would be best if offers of help or request for help could come to us through email but remember IARA now has a dedicated phone number 07909 103 451 

Mary, who is professionally experienced in this subject, has given us some advice about volunteers who enter into a regular support arrangement with someone, including:

If anyone wants help, suggest you ask them at that point for a name and phone number in case of emergency contact – if a volunteer only does shopping, and the resident becomes ill for whatever reason, the volunteer needs to pass on their concerns otherwise they will feel responsible for more than shopping!

Some cases so far:

There are a few cases of coronavirus in the neighbourhood now. Everyone is being super careful and responsible and we very much hope that no-one is seriously ill. Fingers crossed that that stays the same. Best wishes to those people and their families and a reminder to ask for help if it’s needed.

Information and advice

You’re probably drowning in information and advice about the virus and will have had a letter through your door from the council, which is quite comprehensive. In case you’ve missed it (or it’s still soaking in disinfectant) they have set up a dedicated website which they say will be updated daily. The address given is, but it actually seems to be

On the subject of disinfectant, we’ve heard a lot about the effectiveness of bleach (google it).

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that it will kill the virus. You mix about a teaspoonful of ordinary household bleach in about a pint of water and use it to wipe down surfaces, wash fruit (then rinse) etc.

And here’s a plea from our local medics, Sidd and Saisha:

We’re starting to hit the peak of the pandemic here now, and as cases rise and hospital beds fill up, there will be more strain on the health systems. So the best way to help the NHS would be to stay home, which I’m sure you already know. The more we can flatten the curve, and the fewer new infections we have, the better our hospitals and healthcare workers (among others) will be able to deal with it. The pandemic will probably take a few months to dissipate, before we can say most of the population (at least in the UK) have gone through the cycle of being infected, recovering, then developing immunity to it, all whilst keeping the most vulnerable populations shielded while it’s still going around. There is still a long way to go.”

Food supplies

Some people are now getting online delivery slots, so if anyone is really stuck for food we can try and put you in touch with others who might help.

There is also a really generous offer from a Ryland Road baker who has offered to bake an extra loaf and deliver it for free to anyone who is really struggling to feed themselves.

And Patricia writes:
In case you don’t already know – Bumblebee do Veg. box deliveries. Bit expensive but some people might be interested. Mixed seasonal veg. small box £9.95 – they also do larger boxes.  Bumblebee Tel. no. 02072841314

Cathy reminds us that we have a local milkman, who delivers on Fridays (milk, bread, cheese, eggs etc). His number is  07772 427599

Also, the little supermarket at 19 Prince of Wales Road is offering free deliveries on orders over £15. They seem well stocked with groceries, wine and beer and some veg and fruit . Their phone number is 07576 001900 or 020 7267 4453. Home delivery service slots are 11 am – 3 pm and 6 pm – 11 pm. See attached poster .


Just a few people have said they’d like to keep in touch with others through WhatsApp. Let us know if you’d like to join them. We’ll start a group soon.

Raising morale – green spaces

Encouragingly, we took our daily walk on the Heath today and it was good to see nearly everyone keeping their distance from each other. Kenwood and Golders Hill Park are now closed, but most other green spaces are still open and we all hope that continues – we are told it will as long as people stick to the guidance.

One way we are trying to cheer things up is to enhance the small gardens at the base of trees.

We have created a rather random pop-up mini-garden in the empty tree pit near the Anglers Lane end of Alma St – (hoping it wasn’t nicked or trashed over night…) It’s temporary, obviously, until the autumn tree planting season. We did order some more plants and seeds from Boma who were doing a delivery service bit sold out too quickly for us.

Other matters …

Any old ipads, laptops, phones?

At this time we are all very dependent on phone contact, emails, online information etc. Some people are concerned that their aged phone or iPad may fail them and have asked in anyone has a spare they could lend for the duration – and help set up – please let us know and we can connect – ideally by email although you could text us on our new dedicated number 07909 103 451

Mini crime wave: Harold writes: “we had a knock on the door earlier today from a young man trying to gain access to retrieve a football from our garden. There was no football in sight (not sure where the pitch is either!). He then carried on down Willes Road knocking on doors. I suspect this sort of thing will only increase as we move forward but a reminder for people to keep an eye out and think carefully before opening the door.”

Also, reports from Ryland Road of attempted thefts of bikes and motorbikes.

Last Sunday – so long ago!:

Coronavirus Scams.pdf437 KBDear Members

We hope everyone is feeling as OK as possible at the moment.  Here are some updates

Coronavirus support

We and others have distributed notes offering support to Grafton Road, much of Willes Road, Inkerman, the top parts of Anglers and Holmes.

Ryland and Raglan are covered with very active neighbour support. Monmouth House is setting up support in the block. If anyone else wants any notes to put through neighbours’ doors, let us know – we have some left.

In response to our emails we’ve had some lovely replies, including people who are themselves self isolating but happy to chat to anyone who is feeling isolated and wants a bit of virtual company.

There’s a suggestion of setting up a WhatsApp group for support – if that interests you and you’re happy to share your phone number let us know and we’ll put you in touch with others who respond.

Offer of advice

We’ve had a wonderful offer from Saisha and Sidd in Alma Street. Saisha writes: 

“Sidd is also a doctor with the NHS, and I work in public health myself, so if there’s anyone who needs medical help, please feel free to reach out to us. We’d be happy to provide medical advice or just answer general queries. If anyone feels they have developed symptoms and needs to be checked, Sidd is willing to speak to them (we can do this over the phone to limit contact so the virus doesn’t spread and see if that works). If nothing else just to gauge whether they can be treated at home or need to go to the hospital ASAP.”

If you would like to speak to Sidd or Saisha, let us know with your name and phone number and we will pass your request on to them.

There is an advice email that we have received about what to do if you actually get the virus – we paste it in below as it is a bit long to put in here. We are not medically qualified and do not endorse this and we hope some of the medics on our email circuit of 300 homes in the area will come back with comments.

On the subject of the NHS staff you may have seen the proposal that the whole nation applauds them.  Organisers of Clap for our Carers are asking everyone that can to clap at 8pm on March 26 – whether it’s in your garden or local park (at a safe distance from others, of course). 

Coronavirus scams
Perhaps predictably, there are people out there taking advantage of the situation. Councillor Jenny Headlam-Wells has sent us an update from the police, which you can probably find online. Mind how you go!

Alma Street Fair

Sadly, but inevitably, we have had to take the decision that there will be no Alma Street Fair this year. There is no certainty about the future, and when it might be safe to get together – at all, and certainly not on the scale of the fair. Huge thanks to everyone who has contributed so far and we look forward to celebrating happier times.

Gerald tells us that Harry’s Fine Food – the fish merchant and butchers on KT Rd. next to the Library – will deliver free to the over-70s on orders of £30.00 or more (they also do organic fruit and veg, deli items and some groceries) 0207 485 0346.

MAP in Grafton Road 

See previous email about MAP’s offer.  In addition, their food bank has started for people who can show proof of benefits received.  

They say that all items will be disinfected thoroughly before being distributed.  The notice on their door gives food bank times.

Phota.Almost the only other food outlet actually in The Inkerman Area is Phota – the fairly new Vietnamese Retsauarnt in Willes Road. We have heard good things about their food (but again no endorsement from us as we have never eaten there ) They are doing collection only – – 020 7428 9898

* Advice from a UK Consultant working with Covid19 in Italy 

“What I have seen a lot of are recommendations for how to try to avoid getting coronavirus in the first place — good hand washing, personal hygiene and social distancing — but what I have NOT seen a lot of is advice for what happens if you actually get it, which many of us will. So as your friendly neighborhood Nurse let me make some suggestions:

You basically just want to prepare as though you know you’re going to get a nasty respiratory bug, like bronchitis or pneumonia. You just have the foresight to know it might come your way!

Things you should actually buy ahead of time (not sure what the obsession with toilet paper is?):
whatever your generic, mucus thinning cough medicine of choice is (check the label and make sure you’re not doubling up on Paracetamol)
Honey and lemon can work just as well!
Vick vapour rub for your chest is also a great suggestion.

If you don’t have a humidifier, that would be a good thing to buy and use in your room when you go to bed overnight. (You can also just turn the shower on hot and sit in the bathroom breathing in the steam).

If you have a history of asthma and you have a prescription inhaler, make sure the one you have isn’t expired and refill it/get a new one if necessary.

This is also a good time to meal prep: make a big batch of your favorite soup to freeze and have on hand.

Stock up on whatever  your favorite clear fluids are to drink – though tap water is fine you may appreciate some variety!

For symptom management and a fever over 38°c, take Paracetamol rather than Ibuprofen.

Hydrate (drink!) hydrate, hydrate!
Rest lots. You should not be leaving your house!  Even if you are feeling better you may will still be infectious for fourteen days and older people and those with existing health conditions should be avoided!
Ask friends and family to leave supplies outside to avoid contact. 

You DO NOT NEED TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL unless you are having trouble breathing or your fever is very high (over 39°C) and unmanaged with meds. 90% of healthy adult cases thus far have been managed at home with basic rest/hydration/over-the-counter meds.

If you are worried or in distress or feel your symptoms are getting worse, ring 111 and they will advise if you need to go to hospital.  The hospital beds will be used for people who actively need oxygen/breathing treatments/IV fluids.

If you have a pre-existing lung condition (COPD, emphysema, lung cancer) or are on immunosuppressants, now is a great time to talk to your Doctor or specialist about what they would like you to do if you get sick.

One major relief to you parents is that kids do VERY well with coronavirus— they usually bounce back in a few days (but they will still be infectious), Just use pediatric dosing .

Accommodation wantedOne of the Airbnb hosts locally has had an enquiry for a long let by a student with a budget of £500-£600. She is not currently letting, but if anyone locally is interested in finding out more please let us know and we can give you more details. She writes:

I don’t know the person who has enquired so am unable to vouch for them so I think anyone taking them in would want to go through all the measures they would normally getting a lodger. He has had two good reviews on Airbnb and is verified as who he says he is.”

Please reply to us and we can forward.

D & D
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Dear All

We’ve been amazed and touched by the number of responses we’ve had to the email about the coronavirus. It’s lovely to have confirmation that we live in such a strong and supportive community.

We now have details of over 40 people willing to help.

We also learned that Raglan Street and Willes Road have set up their own support networks, and there is activity on Next Door, and a Facebook group – Covid-19 Mutual Aid. Please let us know if there are other groups you know about.

We do live in what is quite a privileged area but there may be others in the wider area who need help and it would be good to know if people are willing to offer help a bit further away. Some people have already offered this. We’re also glad to know that Mel, who helped set up the Tenants and Residents Association in Monmouth House, is planning to leaflet the flats there asking whether people need help.

We’re in the process of talking to Age UK Camden about getting in touch with older people who may be isolated and need help. We’re also aware that any of us (not just the older ones) could have to, or want to, self isolate. So do let us know if you yourself need someone to help with shopping or errands – or if you know someone else who does.

Another way of helping would be to support local food banks who are low on food donations – or donate money at

If the schools close, there may also be charities that will try to provide meals for children who would otherwise have had a school dinner – if anyone has information about this do let us know.

On a more cheerful note, Transition Town is organising some nice outdoor planting events – starting with Wildflower sowing next Saturday.