The final stage of unlocking is crucial for our economy we mustn’t be too cavalier

The final stage of unlocking is crucial for our economy we mustn’t be too cavalier

June 1, 2021

Warm War

IF you were among the millions who emerged blinking into the light of the sunny Bank Holiday Monday yesterday, you could be forgiven for wondering what all the fuss over June 21 is about.

Face masks aside, it was almost possible to forget for a moment that the pandemic ever happened, as crowds flocked to beaches and parks.

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But make no mistake: the final stage of unlocking is crucial for our economy. Just ask the travel or hospitality industry how hard a setback would hit them.

And it’s not for nothing that the president of the British Chambers of Commerce, Baroness McGregor-Smith, calls the prospect of delay “astonishing”.

We can’t be too cavalier, of course, but there is little justification so far for alarmist predictions of a third wave.

 

Cases were always likely to rise as we opened up — not least from extra surge testing — but yesterday there was just ONE Covid death in the UK, a remarkable figure even on a Bank Holiday.

As the virus ups its game with mutations, our first answer must not be to endlessly retreat but to up our game too.

With more vaccination centres opening, like the pop-up one that dished out 10,000 jabs at Twickenham yesterday, that’s just what the Government is doing, and you can play your part too.

If you haven’t yet joined our award-winning Jabs Army, there’s a fresh opportunity to enlist and give Covid a two-fingered salute.

Joint priority

It is all too easy, when looking at the NHS’s daunting backlog of non-Covid cases, to imagine the effect on sidelined patients merely in terms of inconvenience.

A new medical study of those on the waiting list for hip and knee operations shows that the reality is far darker.

The number of orthopaedic patients in this excruciating limbo for over 12 months has rocketed to 92,165, a 21,000 per cent rise since the start of last year.

When assessed on a scale measuring pain, mobility and mental state, over a third of those awaiting a new hip and nearly a quarter awaiting knee ops had a quality of life “worse than death”.

Just let the full horror of that sink in. NHS leaders must treat this as a race against time, as they do the pandemic.

Keirly beloved

Cupid’s arrow can strike in mysterious ways, but few odder than in Sir Keir Starmer’s case.

In tonight’s interview on ITV’s Life Stories, the Labour leader tells Piers Morgan he knew his wife Victoria was “the one” when she hung up on him and said: “Who the **** does he think he is!”

If that’s what makes his heart skip a beat, he must currently be swooning over most of the British electorate.

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