The reality of coronavirus is striking home as many more deaths seem inevitable

The reality of coronavirus is now starting to strike home.

The message from Downing Street last night was that we should prepare for worse to come.

Britain is judged to be four weeks behind Italy, the worst-affected European nation, and our outbreak will not peak for 10 to 14 weeks.

We cannot avoid the fact that more lives will be lost and more families will mourn.

Disruption will last several months but the PM insists our response is guided by science.

Many will be reassured by the measured and authoritative tone of the Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty and the Chief Scientist Sir Patrick Vallance.

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On their advice the Government is not taking the drastic action of other countries.

Only time will tell if this is the correct course. Many will rightly question if more could be done now to protect the elderly and prevent more people from succumbing.

The outcome of this crisis will depend on political as well as medical judgments.

Lives depend on Boris Johnson getting these calls right.

Licence hell

The BBC Director General has admitted 90-year-olds could be dragged to court for failing to pay their TV licences.

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To put any elderly person in this position is deplorable and Ministers should wake up to the implications of the decision to axe free licences for over-75s.

They are removing a much-valued benefit from millions of elderly people, many of whom rely on the telly for companionship.

And they are putting hundreds of thousands of pensioners through the stress of being harassed and taken to court for non-payment.

The Government needs to do the right thing and reverse this terrible policy.

Pure gold

Much of Britain will grind to a halt at 3.30pm for the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Anyone who picks the winner will be jumping with joy – just like the horses.

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