Anyone who has done a calving or a lambing will be aware that this time of year is a period of high pressure and is likely to be very stressful at times. Given the current situation with Corona Virus, we are well and truly in uncharted territory. Livestock, however, will be blissfully unaware of the current national emergency, so we can expect all the usual highs and lows that the Spring brings.
Self-isolation and Social distancing are a key part of our defence against Corona virus. However, for many farmers at this time of year, isolation is nothing new, but with travelling salespeople staying off farm, markets restricting access, livestock shows cancelled and meetings postponed, the impact of isolation on the rural sector is also a real concern. The Farm Advisory Service helpline is available to support farmers, providing free technical advice and the FAS website has a huge amount of information which may be useful at this difficult time; there is a suite of resources coming out focusing on Covid 19 and also on personal resilience. RSABI also offers a support service for people who are struggling, for one reason or another. They provide a free, confidential service which has helped many farmers over the years. If you or someone you know are feeling under pressure and struggling to cope, please make use of these services.
We are all in this together and while we are restricted by public health advice, the phones in our pockets are still working. Now is the time to consider those around us that are most isolated. A quick phone call to a neighbour will only take a few minutes and may be the only human contact they have had that day. Are they OK? Have they got everything they need? Do they just need someone to chat to? Invest some time on the phone to those around you, at this stressful time of year, they may need your help and equally you might need their’s.
Robert Ramsay, email@example.com
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