Weekly Column – We need to live with Covid as we’ve learnt to live with flu
This week I’ve written about COVID-19, vaccines and the future challenges we face.
The reality is that the vaccines have been the game changer many of us hoped they would be. The link between cases, hospitalisations and deaths has been severely weakened. The last time COVID cases were at the level they’ve been for the past month or so our hospitals were under unprecedented strain and huge numbers of people were losing their lives. This time around the pressure on hospitals has been manageable and the number of people losing their lives because of COVID has been mercifully low.
None of us can predict with any kind of certainty what will happen over the next few months and the virus remains a threat but as it stands it certainly seems like the Prime Minister made the correct decision to proceed with the 19th July unlocking. On this occasion, without the benefit of hindsight, Captain Hindsight Starmer seems to have made an error when he claimed it was inevitable that the number of COVID cases would within weeks rise to over 100,000 per day. The number of COVID cases have been declining for the past few weeks despite the unlocking and pressure on hospitals is easing. There certainly are signs that the third wave has been navigated and this time without us having to resort to the sledgehammer that is the national lockdown with all its associated costs.
I have had both doses of the Pfizer vaccine now and I would encourage everyone who has been offered the vaccine to have it. I was very pleased to learn today that over 75% of all adults in Suffolk have now received both doses of the vaccine. Unless you have a particular medical reason for not having the vaccine I can’t really see any logical reason why you wouldn’t have it. It’s safe and effective and our way back to normality.
What’s interesting is that many of those who tend to be most anti vaccine are the same people who were very much opposed to lockdown restrictions. I honestly feel that if it wasn’t for the vaccine there is a high likelihood that we would have been living with significant restrictions over the past few weeks. The majority of those being treated for COVID in hospitals at the moment are individuals who have been offered the vaccine but turned it down. Sadly this is placing unnecessary and significant pressure on the NHS at a time when its got its hand full with huge waiting lists. My fear is that many of my constituents waiting for much needed operations might have to wait longer in pain because of pressure being put on the NHS unnecessarily by those who are being treated for COVID having turned down the vaccine.
Yes, it is your personal decision whether you have the vaccine or not and I don’t believe in compulsory vaccinations. However, those who turn down the vaccine need to be prepared to accept that many others will disagree with their decision profoundly and are likely to express this. It’s your decision but on this matter our decision is likely to have implications for others and society in more ways than one.
When it comes to this pandemic. We’re in it together and ultimately, we will get through it together.
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