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Preparing for the worst, hoping for the best

Julian Atkinson from JC Atkinson outlines how the company is preparing for the months ahead ...

We have all had to deal with the high death toll caused by the Covid-19 virus shortly after the lock-down, earlier this year. The question is: will this be repeated this winter? The answer is that it’s not predicted to do so.

In April 2020, deaths per day were double that of the previous year. The Government predictions state that the seasonal 10,000 deaths per week will rise to 12-13,000 weekly, a rise we can easily accommodate without restrictions to products or sizes.

We’d like to share with you our plans for this winter.
Whilst our measures are extensive, in summary they are:

Contingency – Holding extra stock:  5,000 raw veneered boards; 2,000 wood-effect and veneer coffins; 2,000 cardboard coffins and 3,000 Willow, Daisy and Bamboo coffins

Safety – All staff are trained to conduct their work in accordance with HSE guidance. Factories are kept clean and well-ventilated. Temperature testing is carried out daily and we support all our staff at risk to test and, if required, isolate.

Continuity – Our factories and warehouse work independently. Different shifts are separated from one another and interaction between the factories is minimised.

I personally don’t believe we will see high fatality rates due to Covid-19, so long as the elderly and infirm can be correctly supported. My logic is that we have excess of around 40,000 deaths to date, most of whom were the elderly and chronically ill. Some of these people may or may not have been alive today. Death is not negotiable.
However, the timeline of life is influenced by medical intervention, which invariably can cure and extend life. That was until Covid-19 became active and which we were not prepared for medically.
When I have been asked for an opinion by those outside our trade, I found it difficult to talk about the crisis in such an analytical manner without appearing uncompassionate. Instead, I devised an analogy to describe my viewpoint; a tree with ripe fruit drops in the autumn over a period of time unless a storm occurs. When the gale winds blow, the fruit falls to the ground in one swoop.   
What I am trying to say is that Covid-19 (the storm) and the 40,000 deaths (fallen fruit) describes what has happened. Humanity now needs time to recover its normal rhythm since the fruit can’t drop twice. As to how long this will take – I suspect will be beyond this winter.
We thank you for the many measures individual customers took to help and support us earlier in the year. We will work as hard to remain “on the ball” this coming winter.

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