Yorkshire Party Spring Conference has been cancelled


Due to the rise in UK cases of coronavirus, we have reluctantly taken the decision to cancel the Yorkshire Party Spring Conference that was due to take place on Saturday 21st March 2020.

This was not an easy decision to make as an enormous amount of work has been put into organising the event and arranging speakers. However, given the unfolding situation internationally, our priority is to protect the health of our members and do what we can to limit the spread of the virus.

If you have already bought a ticket and would like a refund, please contact [email protected]uk and we will reimburse the cost of your ticket. Alternatively if you do not wish for a refund, money from tickets will be treated as a much appreciated donation and will be used to support the continued operation of the party at this challenging time.

What's all the fuss about?

You may have heard comparisons between COVID-19 coronavirus and seasonal flu, however there are some crucial differences which are dictating international response. It is difficult to know for sure given the fact this is a new virus, however best estimates predict the fatality rate of coronavirus is around 1% (1 - full list of sources at bottom of this email). Whilst this may not sound severe, it is worth considering that the fatality rate for seasonal flu is around 0.1% (2).

In addition, coronavirus appears to be almost twice as infectious as seasonal flu (3). This is why NHS guidance on hand washing and other infection control is so important.

If you or anyone you know exhibits symptoms of coronavirus, follow NHS guidance (4) on what to do.

World Health Organisation advice for the public

Should we be worried?

This is understandably a concerning time. However, if nearly 20 years of volunteering for St John Ambulance has taught me anything it is that one of the worst things you can do in any medical emergency is panic.

Despite distressing scenes elsewhere in the world (such as Italy, which has been particularly severely affected), this does not necessarily mean the same thing will happen in the UK - the BBC article on "Coronavirus: Three reasons why the UK might not look like Italy" is helpful for understanding why (5).

Community is one of the central principles of our party. It is our duty to behave responsibly and act with consideration towards the health and wellbeing of those around us.

There are many reasons to criticise the motivations and decision of Westminster government. However, at such times I firmly believe that policy makers do have the best interests of the population in mind.

Our party has always championed evidence based politics. I would therefore ask at this time that you play your part in preventing the spread of disinformation, take steps to reduce the spread of the infection (particularly to more vulnerable members of society) and follow the guidance of the Department for Health and Social Care and Public Health England (6).

Thank you all in advance for your cooperation and support. I hope to see you at future events.

Best wishes,

Chris Whitwood
Yorkshire Party Leader

1 - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-51674743
2 - https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200306-sitrep-46-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=96b04adf_2
3 - https://www.sciencealert.com/the-new-coronavirus-isn-t-like-the-flu-but-they-have-one-big-thing-in-common
4 - https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
5 - https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response
6 - https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response

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