Let's not be hasty in returning to 'normal' life - YEP letters

FROM: Bridget Duncan, Pontefract

Friday, 9th April 2021, 6:00 am
"Let's not be hasty in returning to 'normal' life."

WHAT a difference a year makes. From being virtually paralysed by fear generated by Covid sweeping through the country, we are now able to see a realistic light at the end of the very long tunnel.

The ‘four wise men’– Messrs Whitty, Vallance, Johnson and Hancock – who have doggedly stuck to their unenviable task, now both celebrate the positives, and remind us to be wary of the potential dangers of the current situation.

Caution has been their watch word as we welcome the carefully phased relaxation of the strictures placed upon society since January 4.

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The clarity of the ‘road map’ should see day-to-day life return to sustainable ‘normal’ quite quickly.

However I believe that currently there are two very stark contradictions to the ‘cautionary principle’ in evidence.

Firstly, why is there this sudden rush to activities which have the potential to be ‘super spreader events’ with large numbers of spectators, such as the FA Cup Final, being held before the May 17 target date, never mind the June 21 one, regardless of how ‘Covid safe’ they may be?

Secondly, travel and hospitality. The hospitality industry is unable to fully open before May 17 at the earliest. Infection rates in Europe are currently soaring, while their vaccination rates are truly in the doldrums.

Why are we talking about foreign holidays so soon? The risk of people returning bringing variant infections back, and thus precipitating another debilitating lockdown, seems far too high at this stage.

In another couple of months, an even greater percentage of our population will have been vaccinated with at least one dose.

We all want a rapid and sustainable return of the big events, and freedoms which form ‘normal’ parts of our way of life, with the social and economic benefits they bring.

In our eagerness for this to happen we would be most unwise to hasten their return at the expense of sensible caution.