The number of people infected keeps going up day by day. The number of deaths is rising, too. However, the number of people willing to practice social distancing is not rising as fast as it should. The army has already been called in to help the NHS fight against the virus and take care of 1.5 million of the most vulnerable citizens. But it seems that won’t be enough.
Thousands of former troops are now being asked to help Britain fight the pandemic. Around 50,000 men and women listed themselves as Regular Reserves, where they could be asked to return to service in times of crises. Unfortunately, the frontline they are joining isn’t made up of an enemy but our own people.
Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Nick Carter has said that these former soldiers could be looking at six months of service. The last time reserves were called back to a front was during the Gulf War.
The military is looking to call back troops who have relevant experience, in hospitals, warehouses, etc. The kind of skills that can help support people in this critical time.
Speaking about the need to call in ex-soldiers, former CDS General Lord Richards said: “There’s no doubt this is a major indicator of the resolve to use the Armed Forces effectively during this unprecedented crisis. Many regular reserve officers and soldiers have particular skills that our response to Covid-19 would benefit from.”
Using former soldiers is an effective idea and one that could help save many, many lives. However, at this time, we have to keep in mind that unless we begin to take the pandemic seriously there’s only so much anyone can do. The NHS is already overwhelmed by the number of people that are coming in for treatment.
It is time that we support our soldiers and make sure that their return to the forces is not in vain.