The news that we are going back into a national lockdown is a disaster.
And what’s even worse is that we don’t know how long it is going to be for.
But as the numbers of infections and hospitalisations rose sharply, here and across the country, it was inevitable that new restrictions would come in. The rate on increase was frightening and the line on the graph was almost vertical. There was no other option.
Partly this is because of the new variant of the coronavirus, which is much more infectious.
There is hope of course. We now have vaccines being rolled out, but not quickly enough yet. So I will be asking ministers to tell us what their plans are for getting the jabs out to as many people as possible.
It doesn’t help that Boris Johnson consistently over-promises and under-delivers, giving people false hope of a quick fix when this is a major logistical task. And perhaps people lower their guard as a result. We just can’t afford to do that now.
I am particularly disappointed that schools have had to close, but clearly it was inevitable with the new strain running wild. Again the Prime Minister didn’t help, saying schools were absolutely safe on one day, and bowing to the scientific evidence the very next when he announced closures. If you are the Prime Minister you can’t just say the first thing that comes into your head.
Some constituents still tell me that this virus is not a problem, that it only kills old people, that it’s just like the flu. That we should just let it run its course. I disagree completely, as we head towards the disaster of a possible 100,000 death toll in the UK. It isn’t just the people who died: sufferers of long Covid still have symptoms months after their initial illness and cannot work or go to school.
I am also concerned at the crackpot anti-vaccine conspiracy theories running wild on social media. I have been asked if I will be getting the vaccine and the straight answer is, yes, as soon as it is my turn.
But we eradicated smallpox and we have almost eradicated polio and all because brilliant scientists developed vaccines in the past. So my plea is simple: don’t fall for this uninformed conspiracy mumbo-jumbo. We can’t beat Covid without the vaccine.
These are desperate times again. We now need to stick to the rules, get the vaccine, trust our scientists, and look after each other. We can beat this virus, but only if we work together. We are not there yet, but the dawn will soon be upon us.