It's time for vaccine passports with covid rates spiralling again - Christa Ackroyd

This week my husband caught Covid. Correction, on one day this week my husband and at least 40,000 other people caught Covid.

A smartphone screen displaying a Covid-19 vaccine record on the National Health Service (NHS) app. (Getty Images).

And because he caught it while I was away he is now on his own (fortunately with a well stocked freezer and an online supermarket delivery booked) and not very well at all.

I and many others like me are both worried and not a little angry that there seems to be nothing that can be done to prevent it other than locking ourselves away in perpetuity or playing what feels like a game of Russian roulette with every trip out.

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He wears a mask. He has been double jabbed and there seems little point in trying to figure out where he caught it because with case numbers rocketing around us it could have been anywhere. At the petrol station. In the supermarket. In a pub. Who knows? It’s a totally pointless exercise trying to figure it out as well as a complete waste of his energy, something he has precious little of at the moment.

Not only is he pretty poorly, but as someone with a history of double pneumonia, he was also due for his booster jab on Sunday. Obviously that’s not going to happen which is both a waste of a valuable slot and a further delay in giving him the protection we thought he had. Though I am convinced he would have been much sicker without his vaccinations, so let’s knock that one on the head before we start.

I, on the other hand, appear to have escaped it. I was well away filming and had been for several days when he started to feel unwell. And although I have been contacted by NHS track and trace (at last that seems to be working) they deem it is not necessary to isolate as both my PCR and a succession of lateral flows show I am in the clear. I have also been doubled jabbed but I am staying away until the middle of next week just to be on the safe side.

The truth is just when we thought it was safe to come out, it so obviously is not.

And according to Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, things look set to get worse with the possibility of the already alarming numbers doubling to 100,000 cases a day.

So what are we waiting for?

No one wants another total lockdown. No one wants a return to home schooling and empty offices. But this week’s airy fairy announcement that it’s up to us just doesn’t wash. I don’t care whatever they call it – whether it’s plan B, Plan A plus, or Plan C, just give us a plan before it spirals out of control again.

The ‘plan’ in fact appears to be to stick to a plan which so far isn’t working by appealing to those who remain unvaccinated to change their minds. But with the best will in the world, if they have been so reticent for so long they are not going to suddenly change their minds now.

On the other hand, mask wearing has been dwindling for the past few weeks whatever the advice, we know it has. So surely now is the time to bring them back. Would we really cry freedom if they did? I don’t think so and I don’t get it.

This week the serious expressions on the faces of both the Health Secretary and health experts at the unscheduled Downing Street press conference indicated that increased, and enforced, measures were quite probably on the way. Things were bad, they said, and would only get worse, and that didn’t even include the danger of flu which it’s feared might also get a grip this year after being kept at uncharacteristically low levels last winter due to the prevalence of covid.

The whole tone of the briefing appeared to be building up to telling us of the need for action. We were ready. We even called for it.

But no, the news conference fizzled out into yet another request for us each to play our part, which is particularly laughable when even many of the MPs listening to the debate in the House on how bad things really are were unmasked, too. Do as we say but not as we do was the message from some quarters there.

This country has been acting as if the pandemic is over. Well it clearly is not. Yes, the vaccination programme is doing its job by keeping hospital admissions much lower than they would have been, but when the medics warn that other necessary medical interventions are once again being put at risk, or cancelled, because of Covid admissions the situation we have now is clearly not good for our health.

Everyone who knows, including the BMA and NHS bosses, is urging action from a Government which always said it would be guided by science and led by the experts. So what are they waiting for? Being a libertarian is great when all is well. Being a libertarian when our liberty is threatened by a pandemic which is still raging is downright stupid. We were too late to mask up and too quick to throw them away.

Other countries still have them and I tell you, having been in Portugal a couple of weeks ago everyone was still wearing them even in the street. And they have a higher uptake of vaccinations than we do. Mind you, so does the traditional country of anti-vaxxers – France.

So something is going wrong. And there you can’t even sit down in a cafe for a coffee without showing your vaccination certification.

We should have done like France or dare I say it, Scotland, and introduced a vaccine passport here. You don’t agree?

Ask my husband what he thinks as he slowly recovers. Ask the thousands upon thousands a day who are now catching covid and tell them I am wrong.

It will happen. It has to. So as my mum used to say as she ripped off a sticking plaster, the sooner we do it the sooner we will mend.