Star comment: Covid has had a huge impact on us – and will continue to do so

Behaviours have largely reverted to pre-pandemic norms.

In years to come, society will talk about the damage caused by Covid. The issues that have arisen are not just physical, they are also emotional and environmental. Covid has placed the nation under huge strain and there have been unforeseen consequences.

A report today talks of the ‘worry gap’ and how women are disproportionately inflicted by worry post-Covid. The fact is the pandemic added to our already top-heavy burdens.

For some it has been too much, with concerns about health, finances and work, as well as the welfare of loved ones at both ends of the generational spectrum.

As a new report comes out emphasising the huge death toll to come from Covid, we should also remain aware of the huge psychological damage it has caused so many.

We must all look out for each other, but there must also be somewhere to go for those most deeply affected, whether that be GP services or some kind of counselling service.

Long Covid is still prevalent and there is a huge personal cost for those who have it, not withstanding the additional monetary cost to them and the businesses for which they work.

We are in a period where infections remain high and where the risks of contracting the illness persist. Yet behaviours have largely reverted to pre-Covid norms, where masks are not worn and where those with pre-existing health conditions remain vulnerable.

Covid has had a huge impact on us – and will continue to do so for some time.

Today brings the start of payments to ease the cost of living crisis. They will be welcome and come on top of National Insurance changes that have also helped those on lower income.

The payments are proof that action is being taken to help those most in need and more help will be needed down the line, especially when further energy cost rises come in in October.

But the Government is also in a tight spot. Ignore the cash-giveaway promises of the Tory leader hopefuls; this country is in a deep financial crisis. Unfunded tax pledges are for the birds.

Money must be spent to alleviate the plight of those in need, but it should be done in a targeted fashion. We all want to see widespread tax cuts, but the reality is the country probably cannot afford it.

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