Maybe we’ve all seen it coming as Covid infection rates have crept up again locally but this weekend’s announcement of tier 4 rules in Peterborough and several adjacent counties, and the severe curtailment of the Christmas option to just one day of limited mixing have made it very clear. We are fortunate to be still in tier 2 and although we can enjoy its freedoms we need to be smart and not to abuse them.
As a community it’s difficult to fault our behaviour. Individual compliance with the rules has been good and our shops and hospitality venues have served us well but this virus has a way of spreading itself. We must not let up at all. It’s probably appropriate for us all to reconsider our Christmas plans and decide not to engage in any activity which increases the risk of bringing more infection into our community or of taking it to others.
Although Prof Chris Whitty was referring to tier 4 territories when he told people with travel plans to unpack their bags maybe it’s something we should consider as well.
It’s not the end of the world. Vaccines are coming and we will see an impact on the pandemic and associated deaths when relatively low levels of uptake are achieved.
Today is the winter solstice, the shortest day, and although we will continue to feel the cold it will get lighter and warmer in the new year. By the time we get to March, the anniversary of the start of the first lockdown, we can be positive that the infection rate will have declined, that millions of people will have been vaccinated and that we will be able to return to some of the freedoms we enjoyed through the summer. But we will need to be patient.
It’s going to be a quiet Christmas this year but that doesn’t mean that it won’t be Christmas. Technology will help to mitigate the sadness of not being able to meet up and just perhaps it’ll be better with a little less commercialisation. So let’s embrace the situation as it is and enjoy it.
And this year as we share our good wishes of Christmas and the New Year let’s place special emphasis on a healthy 2021.