Released today: a free information book explaining the coronavirus to children, illustrated by Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler

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Axel Scheffler has illustrated a digital book for primary school age children, free for anyone to read on screen or print out, about the coronavirus and the measures taken to control it. Published by Nosy Crow, and written by staff within the company, the book has had expert input: Professor Graham Medley of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine acted as a consultant, and the company also had advice from two head teachers and a child psychologist.

The book answers key questions in simple language appropriate for 5 to 9 year olds:

• What is the coronavirus?
• How do you catch the coronavirus?
• What happens if you catch the coronavirus?
• Why are people worried about catching the coronavirus?
• Is there a cure for the coronavirus?
• Why are some places we normally go to closed?
• What can I do to help?
• What’s going to happen next?

We want to make sure that this book is accessible to every child and family and so the book is offered totally free of charge to anyone who wants to read it. However, we have suggested, at the back of the book, that families might make a donation to help our health service if they find the book useful:

Seaton Community Support for Covid-19 – booklet to go out to every house in the town.

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This booklet will shortly be issued to every household in the town. Thanks to all the hardworking people who’ve helped to put together this superb scheme. Follow the Facebook page here.

Seaton Community Booklet


Do as the Government says, not as they do.

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Hancock as superspreader of coronavirus

Matt Hancock spreading the coronavirus at the opening of NHS Nightingale on 3rd April, with the Chief Nursing Officer looking on in horror. His failure to live up to his own advice is even worse than the Scottish Chief Medical Officer’s – and she has resigned. Ever since Boris Johnson boasted of shaking coronavirus patients’ hands, the personal example set by ministers has been appalling.

The County Council and NHS are urgently recruiting health care assistants in Devon

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‘Do your bit for Devon

‘COVID-19 means there’s an even greater demand for Healthcare Assistants in residential homes, people’s own homes and hospitals in Devon. You don’t necessarily need qualifications or previous work experience. What’s important are your values and attitude towards working with people who need care, and your ability to cope in challenging environments.

‘We need temporary and permanent workers now to fill a variety of shift work including evenings and weekends. You may need to support people with their personal care needs which could include assisting with eating, drinking and washing. We’ll support you with DBS checks and essential training.

‘Register your details now and receive free one-to-one support to help you find a job in Devon.’

As many are shocked at deaths among younger people, why did the Government persistently tell us that the ‘over-70s’ were the ‘vulnerable group’?

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Dr David Hepburn tells C4 News (3 April) ‘all our ICU patients are in their 50s or younger’

In a post on my academic site, I examine the Government papers. I show that the Chinese data was clear, 6 weeks ago, that HALF of all deaths occurred among the UNDER-70s. There were as many deaths among people in their 60s as in their 70s, and a large number among people in their 50s, as well as younger. A THIRD of victims had no serious prior condition.

Why, then, did the Government persist in saying that over-70s and people with conditions were the ‘vulnerable group’? Did this encourage the belief among middle-aged and young people that they would just get a bit of a cough? Is this why it was difficult to get social distancing in the middle of March?

It appears that the Government and its scientific advisers did not properly digest the lessons of China. There are many questions to answer for a future public enquiry. And meanwhile, many younger as well as older people will pay the ultimate price.

As bus services slashed for the duration, County trials taxi service for key workers

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Due to the reduction of bus services across the county, Devon County Council are trialling an on-demand subsidised taxi service for Devon residents for key workers accessing employment only.

This service is intended to replace those journeys which were previously made by bus – a subsidised flat fare will be charged.

Requests can only be made by email and should be sent to

Please include the following information in your email:


JOURNEY REQUIREMENTS (pick up/drop off)

We will aim to respond to all requests as soon as possible during normal office hours  – journeys should be booked 48 hours in advance of travel.

Highways safety repairs still being done, but planned maintenance stopped

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unnamed-6Devon Highways say:

‘We’ve temporarily suspended planned highway maintenance work in order to focus on the repair of critical infrastructure, and continue to deliver essential safety repairs in order to maintain the local network.”