April 2021: News from your local MP

March 26 2021

Brighter future after year of hardship Jack Lopresti

JUST over a year ago, the Prime Minister gave us one simple instruction: stay at home.
In response to a global pandemic, we suddenly had to move our lives indoors and online and rapidly adapt to a new way of living.
This has been an extremely challenging 12 months. Many have lost loved ones, and the restrictions which we have had to endure have often made coping with the loss of family or friends even more difficult.
The pandemic necessitated rapid decision-making from Government. The Government would never claim to have got every single decision right; this situation was unprecedented, and decisions which often had to be taken daily had a big impact on us all.
This crisis has touched every single aspect of our lives, and I have been very moved by the displays of compassion and generosity throughout the last twelve months: neighbours caring for neighbours; people taking extra care to check on and look after one another; volunteers delivering food packages to the most vulnerable; the nation coming together to applaud our NHS and key workers.
I would like to pay tribute and grateful thanks to the NHS, people working in care homes, delivery drivers, post office workers, people working in supermarkets and shops and everyone else working to keep us all going.
It is a collective effort that will see us through to the other side of this pandemic. Nobody wanted to be back in lockdown, but it was the only option in the face of a resurgent virus that threatened greater loss of life and the overwhelming of our NHS. This time, though, it has been different. The huge success of the vaccine rollout gives renewed hope that life will soon return to normal. But that collective effort places on us all the responsibility to take the vaccine and keep adhering to the guidelines as we gradually unlock.
In the fight against coronavirus, what we do individually matters. We could be out and about, when we can, and whilst we feel fine, we could be an asymptomatic carrier of coronavirus. That’s why, in tandem with the vaccines, rapid testing will continue to be an invaluable tool in keeping coronavirus suppressed when we go back to something more like normal life. We mustn’t forget the chain of transmission and continue to be mindful of others, especially those who will take a little more time to adapt to life out of lockdown.
Looking ahead, the roadmap out of lockdown is making good progress. By April 12, we can get a haircut and sit in a beer garden. By May 17, we can be back in a restaurant. And, all going well, by June we will be back to something much closer to life as we knew it.
We will never forget the hardship of the last twelve months, but we can now look ahead to a brighter future.