Express & Star comment: Light at the end of the tunnel

At last, the game changer is here. The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is the light at the end of the tunnel. That light, however, remains distant.


The ever-changing picture as regards restrictions demonstrates the challenges we continue to face. The Christmas and New Year holidays were disastrous, as regards increased infection rates; there are those who now wish we’d adopted measures similar to our European friends by not mixing households.

Boris Johnson has accepted that Tier Four regulations have not been the silver bullet required to put a stop to the coronavirus variant – the programme of immunisations, however, will do that.

We must be patient. Most people have one full season to wait before they receive the jab. As the Government uses scarce resources on those most at risk, we await more news of a mass roll-out programme, where millions cab receive vaccinations each week. Until then, we face a long, hard winter of tough restrictions. There are issues surrounding the parents of children given the challenges faced in schools. A number of businesses are running out of cash after Christmas and new year proved to be a flop. Jobs are on the line and issues to mental health continue to prove problematic.

At times like these, we all want an end to this misery as quickly as possible. The good news is that despite the awful start to the new year, better times will come. It’s okay for us to acknowledge the difficulties that the pandemic brings, feeling vulnerable or overwhelmed does not make us weak. Similarly, we can hold onto the beacon of hope that is the Oxford vaccine.

The Government must show greater organisation and efficiency as it rolls out the immunisation to those who need it most. It will change lives for the better – and save many who were at risk. Our challenge in the coming three months is to keep going, as best we can, while the Government and better weather bring about a change. While it looks like it is going to be a long winter of restrictions, at least this time we can see there is hope for some semblance of normality soon.

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