Well, national lockdown number two is over, and we’re in ‘Tier 3’. Not exactly cause for celebration. I suspect I am not alone in finding it rather difficult to tell the difference between the two. I can get a decent haircut I suppose, and if I wanted to, I could go shopping in a ‘non-essential’ store.
But the things in life that really matter, like seeing family and friends without restriction and fear of infection, remain a distant memory.
160 days have passed Leicester became the first city in the UK to enter local lockdown. For the law-abiding majority, socialising stopped dead. We couldn’t see people in our homes and gardens. No friends round for dinner; not even a cup of coffee in the kitchen. Simple pleasures like these seem a lifetime away.
The decision to place Leicestershire – and not Rutland I hasten to add, which has been granted lofty ‘Tier 2’ status - means that restrictions on households mixing stay in place. Cafes, bars, and restaurants will remain shut except for takeaways. Now as much I enjoy a takeaway, I’d prefer to be eating a curry with friends as rather than watching people eat on Zoom!
For a change, we really are all in this together, and I suspect that, like me, you’ll do whatever it takes to get through this next phase safely and quickly. The start of a vaccination programme brings hope. A return to a more normal way of life may be possible, but we aren’t out of the woods. So, don’t throw caution to the Christmas wind. If we get carried away on a wave of festive fun, we could be back to square one before Easter.
Of course, I understand the desire for something close to a ‘normal’ Christmas break. Nonetheless, I’m deeply concerned that the government is sending entirely the wrong signals yet again. Please think about the frontline workers who will still be out there working to keep us healthy and safe. Spare them from the pain of another spike caused by dropping our guard as Christmas approaches.
With more than 600 deaths in local hospitals, we have already paid a high price. This Christmas will be different. Next year we will really have something to celebrate – provided we can get through this one in one piece.
Please follow the restrictions where you live but think about going the extra mile. Sacrifice socialising to save someone else.
Take care and stay safe.
Posted on Friday 4th December 2020