Distraught at the cancellation of the popular weekly Clap For Carers tribute, a local woman has vowed to keep on clapping, regardless of whether anyone wants her to or not.
"Frankly, I think it's the least I can do," says retired proof-reader Gadsby Dogwalker, (64). "Like most people I'd never heard of the NHS at all until this lockdown business began, but now I am I'm determined to do everything I can to support it. I know some people such as my husband say it's a waste of time clapping moronically like a hungry seal begging for its next fish every Thursday night, but I disagree. I think it does a lot of good."
"Can any healthcare workers actually hear me clapping?" she adds. "No. They're probably busy working in a hospital as you'd expect. But just think: if as many had clapped for BHS a few years ago as are now clapping for the NHS today, that shop would probably still be there."
Mrs. Dogwalker has now taken to applauding while watching entire episodes of BBC drama Casualty and enthusiastically applauding her next-door neighbour Dr. Naomi Larkrise (39) every time she goes in or out of her house.
"It's very annoying. I wish she wouldn't do it," says Dr. Larkrise. "I've explained to her repeatedly that my doctorate is in Political Philosophy," she adds. "I'm nothing to do with the NHS."
Mrs. Dogwalker draws the line at ever actually voting for any political parties who support the NHS, however.
"No fear!" she scoffs. "Can you imagine that dreadful man Corbyn getting in? Never! I'd much rather support a party which has no commitment whatsoever to backing the health service and which is then forced to pump money into it anyway as a panic measure by an unforeseen crisis partly of their own making."
By Chris Hallam