People are nervous, understandably so, it’s a bold move. It really is. But I think the situation requires it of us.
We can either carry on with life and deal with Covid, or we can hide from it, behind masks, behind social distance, behind the rules and regulations and micro management of the simplest social interactions.
And then with all that, still deal with Covid. It’s not going away.
The alternative is to live in a dystopian society where we are forced apart, a society where you cannot sing in church, or any public place, a society where nightclubs are extinct, where pubs are medicalised, where restaurants require an app to enter, and where the faces of the people are hidden by masks giving the constant feeling of threat.
I’d rather live in a society that lived free, even if the risk of Covid increased as a result.
If we allow Covid-19 to define how we live, if we allow it to force entire business sectors to be obliterated, if we allow it to shape our society, to tell us how far apart we can sit, that we must cover our faces, that we must live according to its rules, then we have lost and it has won.
That is not who we are, as a nation. We don’t give in like that.
That is the hard fact of it, we cannot live afraid, we cannot live locked down, we cannot hide our faces indefinitely, we cannot allow our culture, our identity as a nation, to be overthrown by a virus that we now have a vaccine for.
If we do, it has won, and we have lost our civilisation to a foreign invader.
The vaccine has proven to work. Cases soar, and the deaths remain very low.
And yes, there’s still long Covid, and that’s hard, but if we keep restrictions until that is no longer a threat, we will have restrictions for years, decades, forever.
It’s come to the point now where we either get back to life, or hide away from Covid, and from each other, indefinitely.
Life is full of risks. Some people are more willing to accept that and embrace that than others. Business people and entrepreneurs are, by definition, considered risk takers, it’s part of the journey, it’s part of life.
Young people tend to be more courageous towards risk, they’ve already been hard hit by the regulations completely disrupting their education and social lives, why should we hold back their totally normal freedoms any longer than absolutely necessary?
Risk is a facet of life. There’s greater risks than Covid. We can’t allow the fear of it to rule us.
This Government has been far from perfect in the pandemic response, we all know that, and I’ve been critical of them on many counts.
But on this, handing back to us the responsibility for ourselves and each other, they are right. Some people resist that responsibility, they want the Government to tell them when it’s safe, and they don’t want to live in an unsafe world.
That’s unreasonable and it’s unrealistic.
There’s risks in life, and Covid is one of them, and there’s things you can do to personally mitigate that risk if you feel to, and we all know what they are.
Soon we will be given the choice again, to accept uncertainty, accept risk, live with it, have faith, be bold, face the fear and move past it, live life and enjoy it and appreciate it and strive to make it meaningful and impactful and a positive force in the world.
Be courageous and carry on.
And that is the English way.