HOW familiar it all seems. It’s the countdown to Christmas and plans are up in the air, with ministers being quizzed on whether we will be allowed to mix during the festive season amid fears over a fresh wave of Covid that may be far more transmissible.
As the great American baseball coach Yogi Berra is said to have remarked: “It’s deja vu all over again.”
Except that’s not quite right, is it? For all the uncertainty over the Omicron variant, the situation now barely compares with 12 months ago.
Remember the different tiers? Remember lockdown? Remember the fears of Covid galloping out of control once again, forcing the Prime Minister to cancel Christmas with less than a week to go?
A new variant then meant the average case rate had increased by 66 per cent in the first two weeks of December 2020. The memory of all that is stark.
But there is one huge, game-changing difference this time around: we have the vaccine.
Back in December 2020, the only defences we had against Covid were heavy-handed, such as lockdowns and social distancing. Now, thanks to the scientific miracle of vaccines, we are in a far better place.
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