December 2020: News from your local MP

December 22 2020

There will be brighter days ahead

2020 is be a year we will all remember. A year when our lives had to change in ways that we couldn’t even imagine last Christmas. We’ve stayed at home, stayed alert, protected the NHS and undoubtedly saved lives through our collective efforts to look out for one another in the battle against a terrible virus.
While the summer brought some relief, winter has been tougher. The introduction of new national restrictions is not something any of us wanted, but it was right to make sure that we didn’t go back to where we were in March. Luckily, thanks to everyone following the rules and staying safe, we can already see the number of cases across South Gloucestershire and the country start to fall, and we can look forward to Christmas and the new year with renewed hope.
We can be hopeful not just because cases are falling but also because, as I write this, we have heard news of a third successful vaccine trial, the Oxford vaccine by AstraZeneca. With this, the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine we can be hopeful about a return to something a little more like normal life by Easter. This is a remarkable scientific achievement, not just for our own country and scientists but people around the world who have worked to understand this virus and work out how we can put a stop to this pandemic.
If there is one thing that we can take from all this, it is the strength of our collective endeavour. Our heroes in the front-line health service, including the South West Critical Care Transfer Service, whom I nominated for the NHS Parliamentary Awards, and who have been named regional champions, have led the fight against this virus. Doctors, nurses, paramedics, porters: every member of the NHS team around the country has kept us safe, treated us when we’re sick and kept the country going.
And it’s not just staff in the NHS. Essential workers in every sector have kept the country on the road. Supermarket workers have made sure we have everything we need for our weekly shop. Lorry drivers have been putting in the miles, delivering our online shopping and transporting vital medical equipment. Street cleaners have looked after our towns.
We can’t forget, too, those who serve and are deployed overseas, serving Queen and country to keep us safe and helping the world’s most vulnerable people.  While the world is upside down for many of us, the grim reality of conflict is still ongoing for far too many people.  I am particularly proud of those deployed abroad on Operation BROADSHARE, helping those worse off than us to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, many of whom are Reservists who have left ordinary jobs to serve in extraordinary ways. We must hold them in our prayers.
There will be brighter days ahead. A vaccine on the horizon heralds a return to normal life, not just in this country but around the world. It will be different, but I believe that the strength and resolve of this period will carry us through into whatever future we decide to build for ourselves and future generations. This is going to be a very different Christmas to what we are used to, but we will all have to make the best of it and I wish you all a Happy Christmas, and a much better New Year.