New hope in third lockdown due to vaccine

John Penrose Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Weston MP John Penrose. - Credit: Archant

O hell, here comes another one.

No one wanted to start 2021 with a third lockdown but, as the new and more-infectious strain of Covid spread, it proved too strong for the local tier system.

And with the NHS starting to fill up under the strain, even though covid treatments are getting better and the vaccine rollout is picking up speed, here we are again.

A lot of us (me included) had been hoping we could just 'ride it out' by keeping elderly and vulnerable people safe while everybody else carried on fairly normally.

But last autumn showed that, no matter how careful they’ve been, sooner or later grandparents catch it too, particularly with the new and more-infectious strain of the disease.

For a retirement town like Weston with plenty of elderly folk, but where lots of local jobs depend on hard-hit hospitality and tourism too, it’s a no-win dilemma.   

So it’s a rubbish start to 2021. But even though a full-scale lockdown is only a temporary ‘reset’ rather than a long-term answer to the problem, this time is different because there’s hope.

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The vaccines mean there’s a decent chance of normality returning in a few months.  

The challenge is getting through until then: keeping jobs and firms alive, and not letting up on ‘hands, face, space’ in the meantime.

The most difficult stretch of all will be the few weeks after we’ve each been vaccinated, before our immune systems are fully booted up.

The temptation to go back to normal before we’re really safe will be super-strong, but we’ll all have to resist it.

It would be awful to catch Covid right at the end of the pandemic, after we’d stayed safe for so long. Roll on the jabs, and then perhaps we can have a normal summer!

Weston MP John Penrose

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