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  • Lawrence Bailey

I’m not giving up on Christmas just yet



I’m sure I wasn’t alone in expecting last weekend’s announcement of tighter lockdown measures over Christmas.


With all the expert warnings going around beforehand, I’m just surprised our leaders hung on to the fantasy of a five-day break for as long as they did.


Of course, this spate of realism hasn’t dampened social media observations of how “they didn’t shut down the pubs during the Blitz, did they?”.


No they didn’t, mate; but while we’re doing analogies, it’s estimated that over the five year period 1940 to 1945, a total of 61,000 people died in Britain from air attacks. This includes aerial bombing and the so-called ‘V’ weapons.


By comparison, at the time of writing this, some 68,307 deaths have been attributed to COVID-19 in this year alone. Puts things into perspective, don’t it?


I’m pretty sure this telling statistic won’t be seen as relevant by the naysayers who reproduce cut-and-paste debating points as if it’s somehow possible to argue your way out of a pandemic.


There’ll be similar scepticism I’m guessing from the anti-vaccination brigade.


I’ve noticed that these come in two main varieties; the first insists the vaccine development was rushed and potentially dangerous; the other reckons it’s all a ploy to inject us with microscopic tracking devices.


Let’s be clear. The search for a vaccine didn’t exactly begin from a standing start. Scientists had been predicting a potential global outbreak for decades and reasonably prepared.


Moreover, it’s the availability of funding that causes delay in drug development. With governments across the world desperate to throw money at the problem, a relatively speedy solution was to be anticipated.


As for the conspiracy stuff, let’s remember that we’re a society already eager to share our personal details online. Meanwhile, CCTV tracks our movements, our banks and HMRC know our financial status, the fulfilment centres can map our buying habits, our phone providers pinpoint our location and apps determine trends faster than you can say algorithm.


Pardon my bluntness, but if you still nonetheless subscribe to the notion that a sinister billionaire has conspired to create a virus and/or vaccine that will exert control over your thoughts then I’d respectfully suggest you check that your tinfoil hat isn’t on too tight.


Don’t misunderstand me. I don’t think that there’s been a competent or timely handling of this crisis. That said, I’m no different from anyone else in having zero experience of safeguarding public health at the expense of personal liberty.


There have been occasions when I’ve disliked the answers from the Welsh government, but at least we’ve received answers. That’s more than can be said of the evasive, ambiguous and self-contradictory drivel that comes out of Downing Street.


We’re going to miss out on so many things this Christmas. We won’t be able to shake hands, share hugs or chink glasses in a seasonal toast.


I don’t know what the future holds but I’m clear in my own mind that we can’t allow this miserable masked non-existence to become a permanent feature of our lives.


If that means foregoing a single celebration now so that we can enjoy more such occasions with our friends and families in years to come, then so be it.


Christmas was always going to end in tiers – but I’m not giving up on it just yet.


Nadolig Llawen.



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