The past 2 years have been incredibly difficult for so many, following the metaphorical asteroid called Covid that has hit the planet and our communities. So many families have suffered over the past few years and sadly, despite the best efforts of so many, no set of measures or restrictions could avoid all of that of that harm.
As we are all too aware, there have been different waves of Covid-19 in the UK along with different variants that have hit our communities. Variants are created by mutations to the original virus. Some mutations can make very little difference to the severity and properties of the virus, some on the other hand, can drastically change the disease’s severity along with other characteristics. These changes continue to be a problem, as scientists seek to understand the changing nature of the virus, and its impact.
In the UK currently, due to the increased transmissibility of the Omicron Variant, we are seeing levels of transmission that are higher than at any other stage of the pandemic, including the peaks of last January. That said, whilst hospitalisations are rising and putting pressure on NHS capacity, the most serious illness (such as those requiring a ventilator) and deaths continue to remain fairly steady. They are increasing, but not anywhere near at the same rates we have seen in previous waves. This is due to several factors, including the reduced severity of the disease of the Omicron variant along with our fantastic vaccine rollout.
Over Christmas, the Prime Minister was under a lot of pressure to reintroduce restrictions, but I am glad he resisted these calls. We can see from the data that, despite further restrictions being introduced in Wales, Scotland and N.Ireland, England still currently has fewer cases per 100,000 people. Those measures don’t seem effective, and I think the PM has made the right decision. Kneejerk, reactionary policy is very rarely the answer, and if you are to impose such restrictions there must be a very good and evidenced reason why! I hope that we can avoid further restricting peoples lives, and instead trust people to make sensible choices to help us get through. Whilst we’re not out of the woods, I do think that there is light.
Whilst I am starting to feel like I’ve said this a thousand times by now (and I probably have), if you haven’t already had the vaccine, please do! A huge thank you on behalf of the people of Mansfield and Warsop to the millions of people that have already been vaccinated, and to all those supporting the rollout efforts. These vaccines save lives and continue to be our best defence against Covid-19. This latest data on hospitalisations confirms that fact, with as many as 90% of people in hospital being not fully vaccinated. So please do your bit, go about your business with common sense and caution, and get your jabs.