We are all geared up to expecting more freedom when the final stage of the present Lockdown is reached on June 21, but can we be confident that the final release of Boris’s current Roadmap will go ahead, with the rise in cases of the Indian variant now prevalent in this country?

Does it mean the end of Social Distancing and wearing face masks?

Now there is a new variant of Covid in Yorkshire, 49 cases of it being reported at the weekend.

The Government is obviously anxious to stick to the timetable if possible, particularly for economic reasons. We need to see more activity in the hospitality industry, no more so than in Eastbourne which depends so heavily on the hotels to bring in increased revenue in the summer months.

While the airline companies are so dependent on passengers taking foreign holidays tourism in this country should benefit from Staycations.  Even without Airbourne and reduced provision for the International tennis at Devonshire Park the hotels should see a bigger influx of visitors than normally, providing everything goes according to plan.

It’s lovely to see all the pubs, restaurants and cafes opening up again fully, although sadly some have fallen by the wayside. Quite a few shops have hit the dust too.  There are some new businesses popping up, however, particularly in the way of eating establishments.

The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, has set a good example by choosing to plan a holiday at home, in Cornwall. A lot of people go abroad not really knowing the beauties of the UK. Every county has its own charm and individuality. The West Country, which includes Cornwall, Devon and Somerset, are good examples. My favourite  is Dorset with its Jurassic coast.

Camping and caravanning holidays have also become more popular this year, particularly among the young people, and they are such fun. People say they go abroad for the sunshine. We certainly have had plenty of sunny days here in the past few months.

But what have we learned from the pandemic? It all depends on our circumstances. Some have fared better than others, economically and health wise.  There are companies which have benefited from the situation seeing an increase in business, especially those which have had the foresight to adapt to new techniques where the y see demand. Others have failed miserably.

We have all had to adjust our lives to fit in with government legislation. Families have found that working from home and dealing with schooling online have brought them closer together as a unit and rather than

concentrating on material things finding more valid purpose to their lives. In contrast there are those who have suffered personal and financial loss.

Whatever the future brings there are lessons to be learned from the past two years  of restrictions .The Government is to hold an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the pandemic when things improve.

Should we have been better prepared? Should we have locked down earlier in 2020? Could we have had a  more efficient track and trace system? These are questions which will come up. 

One aspect on which everyone does agree is the success of the vaccination programme in the UK. Whether the jabs will be sufficient to protect us from new mutants of Coronavirus remains to be seen. It seems likely in any case, however, that we will be having booster jabs in the autumn or early next year.

CAROL DAVIES