At the risk of sounding like a gloomster and a doomster, my family won’t be joining any mass rule-breaking come June 21.
At my house, there’ll be no major gatherings inside or defiant garden parties outdoors, much as I yearn for the social contact. It’s not that we’re killjoys; just uncomfortably conscious that joy can kill.
And while I’m not afraid for our own health, I do believe that the data (not the date…) points to a need for collective caution. Just for a few more weeks.
Of those who have died in the UK with the Indian (renamed the Delta) variant, almost a third had previously received their two jabs. The numbers may not be high – 42 deaths in all – but the proportion is significant.
Moreover, if the current rates of infection continue, the UK will hit 15,000 cases a day by June 21, and January levels of infections by late July.
And that’s without the further relaxation of restrictions, which could drive up cases even more.
Vaccinations were supposed to break the link between infections and hospitalisations on the basis that if people are not getting seriously sick, then it doesn’t matter if infection levels rise.
But currently that link has been weakened, rather than broken. Another month of vaccines would have a huge impact on the programme and thus increase our ability to fight the virus as a society.
I’ve had my vaccines, and I may well be the last person I know who still washes her hands to Happy Birthday if I pop out for a loaf of bread.
My husband has been vaccinated, too. Our 19-year-old is currently in the amber-listed Greek islands, where tourists are thin on the ground. When she returns, she will self-quarantine as required.
Would I agree to her 12-year-old sister getting vaccinated? Absolutely.
The end is in sight. The slogan may have changed, but we need to continue saving lives and protecting the NHS. It would be foolhardy not to act on the science.