‘Business as normal’ - Thetford shoppers not put off by coronavirus threat
PUBLISHED: 16:25 14 March 2020 | UPDATED: 16:25 14 March 2020
It has been “business as usual” in Thetford’s town centre this weekend, despite growing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.
As public events are being cancelled, the town's business owners say they have not felt the effects of the coronavirus as the community were out in force on Saturday, March 14.
Currently Norfolk has zero reported cases but as figures across the country are on the rise, it is those with vulnerable family members who seem to be the most concerned.
Nick Day, 30, is manager at Time2Vape in King Street and said he is concerned for his seven-year-old son who is about to have open heart surgery.
He said: 'I am worried about the virus for my son because he has to have open heart surgery in London on April 2, and it is a lot more populated there.
'But the only thing that seems to be affecting our business is China because obviously a lot of our vape products are manufactured and purchased in china, but other than that it's just been business as usual.'
Walking along Thetford River, Penny Lyndon, 64, was on an outing with her 93-year-old mother, Mary Lyndon, who has dementia.
Ms Lyndon is her mother's full-time career and said the coronavirus is also a 'big worry' for her right now.
She said: 'I'm very worried about it because I have a mother who is in her 90's and if I get it, I'm her only carer so it is a concern.
'We have had to prepare so if I catch the virus, her care worker has put her on an emergency list.'
'We have been keeping our distance, staying away from crowds and trying to stay in the open.'
But Ian Hilton, 55, owner of J. Jones Butchers, in King Street, says his business has been busier than ever this weekend, as families avoid visiting restaurants and are buying meat to eat at home.
He said: 'It has made people realise they have a butchers here and there seems to be more people coming in. We have served a lot of roasting joints today, double than what I normally sell.
'But we are concerned about the coronavirus and we are taking extra proportions.'
Thetford Garden Centre was another popular destination for the community this weekend and its operations manager Marie Turner said she doesnt think behaviours will change until the virus reaches Norfolk.
She said: 'At the moment it doesn't seem to be affecting business at all.
'But we are taking it very seriously and are following government guidance.
'At the moment it's not in Norfolk, but behaviours might change when it is actually on our doorstep.'