One of the best pieces of television journalism I have watch recently was the Sky News one-hour special by Alex Crawford, reporting on the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

As a special correspondent, Crawford usually covers wars and conflicts around the world but for this report, the front line was Warrington.

Crawford and her crew spent two weeks filming in the town, speaking to medical staff at Warrington Hospital, coronavirus patients in the intensive care unit, funeral directors and members of the town’s Sikh community.

Her reverent, sombre tone throughout left no doubts about just how serious the current pandemic is.

And yes, while there were deaths to be reported, she also found some light among the gloom.

I was glad to hear that Warrington Hospital had never run out of personal protective equipment, as has reportedly happened in other parts of the country.

The innovative way medics at Warrington Hospital had converted sleep apnoea oxygen machines – the so-called black boxes – to treat Covid-19 patients in an attempt to avoid the need to put them on ventilators them was praised.

The work of security guards converted into ‘Covid Police’ was commended and there was a special mention for the town’s small Sikh community which has quietly and modestly got on with preparing meals for staff, seeking neither reward or recognition.

The abiding impression was that Warrington is an unremarkable town but populated with remarkable people.

But this is the coronavirus pandemic and death is never far away. There was a chilling interview with one of the town’s funeral directors, working 24 hours a day to deal with the mounting death toll.

There’s a quote usually attributed to Joseph Stalin which goes something along the lines of: ‘A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic’. And I feel that’s the point we have now reached. More than 30,000 deaths is a statistic. More than 5,000 new infections every day is a statistic. More than 600 people a day dying of coronavirus is a statistic.

And yet the scenes inside the funeral director’s premises, showing the cold store where bodies are kept, is real. This is life and death stuff, not just statistics.

What I found particularly chilling was their view that the actual death figure is much higher than the official figure, with a large number of people dying from the disease who weren’t being counted, for whatever reason. And funeral directors are at the sharp end of this, they should know.

Anyone who watched Crawford’s report could have been left in no doubt about just how serious this pandemic is. It’s grim, it kills people and we have no answer to it at the moment other than lockdown and social distancing, as hard as that may be.

I watched the report on Friday night and it made me feel proud to call Warrington my home.

By Saturday, all that had changed. My pride in the town had turned to shame as my social media timeline became flooded with videos of the ‘Grappenhall conga’.

In case you missed it, the BBC’s north west correspondent Andy Gill tweeted a video of people in Grappenhall holding on to a rope marked off at two-metre intervals doing the conga down the street as part of their VE Day celebrations.

The Twitter outrage was palpable, and for once I’m inclined to agree.

In the first instance, I feel we should have been commemorating VE Day, not celebrating it. Doing the conga just seems a little crass and disrespectful.

And secondly, one of the ways Covid-19 is spread is through aerosol dispersal. So let’s just assume the person at the front of the conga line had the disease, everyone following in the slipstream stood a really good chance of being infected.

I can’t help but wonder if the best thing the Grappenhall conga line could have done was to keep on dancing all the way down Knutsford Road to Warrington Hospital.

My only hope is no-one gets coronavirus as a result of those thoughtless actions.

In a way, though, I don’t think the Grappenhall conga dancers are completely to blame. While they were captured on video for the nation to see, there were plenty of other ‘street parties’ across the town that didn’t follow social distancing rules either.

In my own street, I watched children from three different families playing together, running into each other’s houses and then back to their parents who were ‘partying’ in their own gardens.

Who do I blame? It is obvious the government briefed to national newspaper journalists that there was to be a relaxing of social distancing rules ahead of the VE Day weekend, leading to a raft of ‘Freedom’ headlines. It is hardly surprising, then, that after seven or eight weeks of lockdown, people took their cue from that.

So yet again, mixed and muddled communication from the government has probably engineered a spike in infections and inevitable deaths.

Where’s Alex Crawford when you need her?