Shropshire Star comment: Now not the time to relax

This is news nobody wants to hear.

Nurse Daisy Carrizales prepares a syringe of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine
Nurse Daisy Carrizales prepares a syringe of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine

The lockdown may not have worked that well – at least initially.

Experts are now in a position to assess the early impact of the renewed restrictions imposed at the end of last year, and the depressing picture from a study is that Covid-19 infections may have actually gone up at the beginning of the latest lockdown.

Then we have that Happy Christmas with inevitably increased social activity from which an unhappy legacy will be breaking on the shore now, or any time now.

So weary though everybody may be of the restrictions, it could be that they are not tough enough, especially in the light of the increased transmissibility of new coronavirus variants.

Infections from January 6 to 15 were 50 per cent higher than in early December, the study found.

This troubling news at a time when we are seeing record death figures by the day can at least be offset by the knowledge that there are also signs of better times to come, a spring to follow the hard winter.

The number of coronavirus cases – that is, the number of people who have tested positive for the virus – has shown a significant drop in latest figures.

Above all, there is the vaccine, that beacon of hope which is the light at the end of the dark tunnel.

The programme began in December, so the impact on the figures will surely be very small at the moment, but is going to be like a snowball rolling down a hill, gathering pace and gathering size.

If everybody continues to take care and endure the sacrifices, then those dreadful death statistics, and the crushing pressures on our hospitals, will start to look very different from some point next month.

We should soon see the unmistakeable signs of the vaccine turning the tide. According to health secretary Matt Hancock, the UK is giving 200 jabs a minute.

Last week nearly two million people in Britain had the jab.

As we continue to hunker down, now is not the time to become careless or relax.

The advent of proven vaccines has been described as a game changer. It can't be too long now before we see them decisively changing the game.

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