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2020 will be remembered as the year of Covid 19.  So many things people had been used to doing freely had to be re-considered as the danger of transmitting this virus became uppermost in everyone’s minds. The joy and companionship Coin Branch had always enjoyed was purposefully put on hold.  Any chance of catching or passing on any illness would not be allowed either by local laws or by the Royal British Legion rules and advice.

However, many of Branch members kept in touch - meeting in the small groups that were allowed, or more often by using the variety of communication technology now available to everyone.  It was technology, more than anything which surprised many people as it went from luxury to essential, from an entertainment to vital link with others.  Fifteen years ago most people were complete novices when it came to computers and only a minority of homes had personal computers.

Now mobile telephones allow instant communication, access to information and a degree of safety few people want to do without. Most homes have computers, tablets, sophisticated television networks and mobile phones and this year they came into their own, allowing people to keep abreast of important news, to see friends and even to talk in groups.  Hospital Covid patients who were not allowed visitors could, in many cases speak with family members.  People could work from home and schools were closed and learning was often conducted on-line.

In essence most people were able to be safe at home linked to others by modern technology.

However, this was not the case for many and people learned to respect the workers who had to go each day and work at the essential jobs which allowed the rest of the community to stay at home, and life to continue for most with a certain degree of normality.  As RBL members, we appreciated that our Armed Forces stepped in during the crisis to assist hospitals, emergency services and the government to do the essential tasks when workers were needed and staff was short.

2021 is now here and hopes are that the available vaccines will help to overcome the pandemic and life for everyone can get back to normal.  In the meantime people should be grateful for technology, and especially for all essential workers whose lives were often in danger from the virulent spread of the virus, and for our Armed Forces who efficiently bridged the gaps and contributed to the well being of the community, with a minimum of recognition. 


Jo Taylor