I couldn’t begin to imagine how hard it was for those with no access to the outside - Julian Norton

Everyone must surely agree that it’s good to be able to get out and about; that everyone can at long last enjoy the beautiful countryside, fresh air and wonderful weather again.

Julian has been enjoying the fresh air this week

But back in the middle of the corona clampdown, tension was palpably rising.

Concern over health, job security, the sanity of our family and friends and the stress of the restrictions all played a part. I felt fortunate, because work allowed me to get out as we still had farm animals to look after.

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Others were less fortunate. I couldn’t begin to imagine how hard it was for those with no access to the outside, like the residents of the small terraced house just along the street from where we live, no bigger than two up and two down and without any sign of a garden or yard.

The child’s colourful picture of a rainbow in the window showed support for the health workers. I felt for the family – especially the child – suffering without a garden to escape into.

How people in those countries with much more draconian lockdowns have coped I don’t know. I heard a radio report describing how in Italy, one family with two children had literally not left the house for six weeks.

The problems this brings are profound, and the mother described how it was a case of “getting through” each day.

It is a busy time of year for vets and farmers and after a week with calvings too numerous to recount, a multitude of lambings and associated veterinary emergencies, I reflected on the nature of this work.

Few of the procedures would have been possible had I stuck rigidly to the two-metre rule, but each case was a matter of clinical judgement and assessment of the risk both to myself and the client.

Trying to find ways to manage each situation to keep ourselves safe while ensuring the animal was treated appropriately and did not suffer was a challenge.

After work, I was glad to get my quotient of exercise and one sunny afternoon I jumped on my bike to enjoy an hour or so of solitude. Everywhere was, as expected, very quiet – the roads were like being back in the 50s apparently.

I overtook a couple of cyclists, at high speed and with a wide berth and soon I came across a farmer who had been tending his sheep.

I watched his sturdy lambs in the field on the left, thriving on the new grass and skipping and playing with their friends in the warm spring sunshine.

After a torrid and waterlogged end to winter, and despite all the chaos, lambing time could not have been better.

I expected the farmer, who was about to climb into a Land Rover, must be full of the joys of spring.

It was a wonderful day, his stock looked wonderful and his job – out in the fresh air of North Yorkshire – had hardly been hindered at all by Covid.

He stepped purposefully into my two-metre space from the side of the road, standing on the verge as I toiled up the incline.

“We’ve had too many [swear word] cyclists like you!” he bellowed, with more aggression than I’d encountered anywhere.

Maybe the farmer had a deep hatred of cyclists? Maybe he was just hassled, stressed and fretting about the restriction of normal life by Covid?

If so, I have to say, with acres of his own farm land to enjoy and fresh air in abundance, he was in a much better position than most.

A special Yorkshire Vet edition featuring Julian Norton is on Channel 5 this Tuesday at 8pm.