By acting together now we will get through this
BORIS Johnson is right to put his faith in a “spirit of togetherness” that will carry our nation through the remaining challenges of coronavirus. He is also wise to lay out the gravity of the threat still posed by Covid- 19 and to take action to ensure as few lives as possible are lost this winter.
The prospect of six more months of restrictions may have caused hearts to sink across the country but this is the hour for candour, not a moment for spin or false optimism. We want to know the true nature of the threat to our families and loved ones so we can play our part in preventing further loss of life.
The PM warned that Britain has reached a “perilous turning point”. With the number of new cases rising by nearly 5,000, it is imperative that we do what we can to bring down the rate of infection.
As Mr Johnson put it: “The tragic reality of having Covid is that your mild cough can be someone else’s death knell.”
We still have the chance to shape the destiny of the country we love and avert a health disaster.
It is wrong to see the latest tightening of protective measures as a return to lockdown. A 10pm closing time for hospitality businesses is not a gross intrusion on civil liberties, and the measures in England are significantly more relaxed than Nicola Sturgeon’s ban on visiting Scottish households indoors.
Our best scientists are racing towards the day when they will perfect a safe and effective vaccine. Doctors and medical advisers, the PM told us, are “unanimous that things will be far better by the spring”.
Past generations of Britons confronted far greater dangers with grit and courage, while refusing to abandon the decency, neighbourliness and good cheer which glows at the heart of our national character.
We can also do our bit to keep the economy whirring and ensure our high streets survive the challenges of the pandemic.
Can we get through the next six months? Of course we can.