Self isolation can come as a shock to the system. One minute you are free to take a stroll in the lovely winter sunshine. The next you are confined to barracks.

I am the first to admit that I was sceptical about the efficiency of the NHS test and trace system. Does it really work? Yes is the answer.

I had the app introduced into my mobile phone as soon as it was available after the Isle of Wight trials and not had a bleep until the weekend.

Here I was several months down the line given a text message to self isolate for seven days, leaving me wondering how I came to be in contact with someone with Covid-19. Of course the increasing number of cases in the UK speaks for itself. Eastbourne is no exception. In fact a major incident was declared here like in London and other parts of the country.

However many times you go back over your movements in the last 14 days you cannot come up with a solution as to how you came to be in your current position.  And as a matter of confidentiality the app won’t tell you either.

Was it the trip to the supermarket for bread and milk? Or should I have not met up with a friend for a walk on the seafront – and slipped in that cup of coffee from the take-away stall?

Yes, it’s inconvenient to stay indoors for a week, but looking at the larger picture it’s a small price to pay for protecting others from this dreadful virus. We only have to turn on the TV or read the newspaper to learn how serious the present situation is, with more than 50,000 new cases and over 1,000 deaths being  recorded on several days in the past week.

And have we felt the full effect yet of the Christmas Day festivities when households were allowed to mix more freely? Was it a big mistake for the Government to relax the rules then?

Self isolation for me means I will miss out on the second Pfizer jab this week just when the GP practice decided to go ahead three weeks after the first. Will I slip through the net?  That certainly worries me.

Naturally it is important for as many people as possible to receive their first injection,  lots of them through the Astra Zeneca programme. There are literally millions waiting for vaccination.  Is it going to be the answer to our prayers and stop this dreadful disease? No, but it will slow down transmission and give us a fighting chance to a certain extent and provide a boost to get back on our feet again

Scientists say Covid-19 will be with us for a long time now. Maybe we will need annual inoculation like the flu vaccine.

Our freedom has certainly been curtailed by the pandemic. We must all learn to live with it – and get on with our lives as best we can.

I feel sorry for the thousands who have been so badly affected by it, those grieving for loved ones, the many people who have lost their livelihoods, parents suddenly faced with home schooling again for their kids – but mostly the NHS staff and key workers who put their lives at risk every day to help the rest of us.

Let’s remember to clap for them again on Thursday!

CAROL DAVIES