I am a self-confessed optimist which is both a blessing and a curse. Even when England are 105 for 9 in a run chase of over 300, I expect the last wicket pair to somehow get the runs.
For this reason, I was initially disappointed at the timings announced in the Road Map this week, in the length of time it would take to re-open various sectors of our economy – notably in this region the tourism and hospitality sector. I had hoped our hotels and guest houses could open for Easter and start the long process of replenishing empty coffers. But on hearing the SAGE advice given to the PM today and recognising that this third lockdown must be the last, I accept that the PM has got the balance right. They advised that opening for Easter might lead to 30,000 extra deaths. I have no idea if they are right, but we said we would be guided by the science and we are being.
I accept that our economy simply cannot afford a fourth lockdown and it is better to lock-step our way cautiously towards the total lifting of restrictions over a sensible time period than to rush this and get it wrong.
I strongly support our children going back to school on 8th March. They are the ones who have suffered more disruption than most, especially as many have not yet learned the resilience that we oldies have mostly picked up by now.
We had already been informed that the whole country would be coming out of lockdown together rather than in tiers. The tiering system caused much confusion last time and although our rates of C19 are mercifully low, it seems the right decision to move as one.
We are in effect swapping the benefits of lockdown with the benefits of vaccination roll out which by 15th April will include everyone over 50. If the roll out continues as now, especially compared to our European friends. Surely future historians will compare this astonishing achievement by our NHS and vaccine purchasers to other great moments of national salvation rather like Dunkirk or the Spanish Armada.
It is never a good position to be in to wish tempus to fugit, but I suppose for many of us that is the position we are now in. I am sure are all planning who we can see, when and where between now and the summer as we take tentative steps out of life as we have known it for almost a year. Above all I am hoping for a bumper holiday season for our tourism and hospitality sector when we finally arrive at mid-May.