Image of COVID-19 virus

How is coronavirus impacting our city?

As the editor of the Leeds Bussiness Review, I wanted to take a look at how COVID-19 is impacting our city and what we can do to help combat this pandemic.

As we know Leeds and West Yorkshire is a bustling, busy, active city. The coronavirus outbreak is something which we have seen affect the world let alone little Leeds up in the north of the UK. However, it’s important to be educated on how the virus is affecting business, life and the health of our residents.

In March, the people of Yorkshire opened up about how the pandemic was affecting their mental health. Anxiety over getting and spreading the disease fears over having to self-isolate and increased stress over cancelled hospital appointments are just some of the ways the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting people’s mental health. On top of this, there have also been worries for the elderly, and how self-isolating may worsen the loneliness epidemic.

Mental health charity Mind has issued advice for anxiety and how to avoid feeling trapped if you are staying at home. The charity said anyone feeling claustrophobic could “open the windows to let in fresh air”, “spend time sitting on your doorstep or in the garden” and “regularly change the rooms you spend time in”.

In terms of sport, COVID-19 may also impact Leeds United’s transfer business for summer. Top-level football competitions in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have been suspended. The Football Association, the Premier League, the English Football League, FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship all agreed on Friday to call a halt to competitive action with immediate effect until early April.

For other areas in Yorkshire, COVID-19 has affected schooling and education. The University of Leeds has moved their teaching online and pushed back deadlines. Leeds Beckett University has done something similar and there have been talks of cancelling graduation ceremonies. The University of Liverpool cancelled their July graduation ceremony last week amid fears of the virus.

The public transport network has felt slightly quieter this week travelling into Leeds as people work from home or impose a term of self-isolation. Busses seem to be on time there’s the opportunity to sit down on the train.

Flights to certain countries were grounded over the weekend and the city’s St Patrick’s Day parade was cancelled to combat the spread of the virus which has had a big impact on Leeds Bradford Airport.

Leeds is most famous for being the largest city in the largest ceremonial county in England. It’s known for its football club, Marks & Spencer, films, actors and actresses, and most importantly, the Yorkshire pudding festival. Although the last couple of weeks may have pushed a few people back, let’ s come together and charge forward. Because we are Leeds and we are home to some of the best businesses in the country.

Going forward, please follow government guidelines. When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we will reduce the spread of the infection. That is why the government is now (23 March 2020) introducing three new measures. Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes, closing non-essential shops and community spaces and stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public. Every citizen must comply with these new measures. Stay home, and stay safe.

About the Author

This article was produced by a student or students on the BA in Journalism at Leeds Beckett University.

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