Are we now seeing light at the end of the tunnel – or a false dawn?

Could it be we are now starting to see light at the end of the tunnel? Could this latest national lockdown have broken the back of the pandemic across the UK?

Tunnel light
Photo by Samuel Berner on Unsplash

Are we nearly there yet?

The plaintiff cry most parents will only remember as a distant memory, but dare we ask just that? Are we nearly there, getting back to some sort of semblance of normality?

Going back to visiting friends, dining out, strolling in the park without worrying too much about who is around you, stopping for picnics – these are all the simple things in life that prior to 2020, most of us took completely for granted. Being able to hop into the car and head out for a drive to nowhere in particular, just to see what we could see. Simple pleasures for perhaps much simpler times. I think it will be a very difficult decision about when the restrictions are lifted and I’m pleased I have not been tasked with being involved in that process. There are so many variables and mathematical models to be taken into account. Far more than most of us realise when we’re all champing at the bit to get back out and about.

We must not get tunnel vision

As ever, we all need to have some sort of appreciation of the wider situation that society in general face.

Could it be that the restrictions for cities remain in place longer than for smaller towns and villages? There may be a case for that due to the greater population density. For instance, in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds have more people packed in per mile than the Breacon Beacons or other National Parks, or smaller towns such as the coastal resorts. Is there an opportunity to release the grip on areas such as those ahead of the cities? It is worth thinking about. The network of number plate reading cameras has already proved effective in having people turned back from visiting Wales and The Lake District (I remember a couple of news reports that discussed those areas.) so they could continue to be used to stem the drift of people from cities out into the countryside.

Let’s hope that light in the tunnel isn’t another train steaming towards us

With the infrastructure to deliver vaccines now in place, I’m trying to stay really optimistic that this lockdown will be the last. I was a great sceptic about children returning to schools this week and frankly thought it was a bit crackers, until I saw news reports from inside schools and the testing regimes that teachers and support staff have worked to implement. The return to school does feel like it is the first step back to normal. Seeing the kids (though it has to be said there appears to be a lot fewer of them) heading into schools in the morning and their parents clogging up local roads from around 3pm to pick them up again, does give a feel of we’re now on the way to getting back to how things used to be.

However, there does seem to be one elephant in the room that isn’t getting talked about. International border crossings. I have heard one of the tests can provide results in 30 minutes, but that would still cause chaos at borders holding everyone up for that period of time. It remains a problem to be solved.

That said, I think we now have every reason to be optimistic about the future and how things can be managed. If, and it is a big if, we all do our part.

In the meantime, make sure you keep your cupboards well-stocked with the basics.





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