It is very good to be back in this space, now that we have started the journey back to normality with Covid. There is of course a long way to go and many people are still suffering badly, but at least it is good to be able to return to the shops and high streets.
We are now at the stage where we can see that the infection rates for Ashford, and indeed for Kent as a whole, are well below the national average. This is a huge relief after the high figures we saw in our area in the early weeks of the pandemic.
Of course we are now seeing nationally, and in other countries, a rise in the numbers, which means that we all need to remain careful in our daily lives. I am coming to the conclusion that, unless we get a vaccine, we will need to concentrate most on the basic hygiene messages of handwashing, sanitising, and sometimes mask-wearing, if we are to return fully to what was once normal life.
I say this because in the long-term restricting the numbers of family members we can see at once is not something acceptable. Equally, it is now clear that for many theatres, cinemas, and sports venues socially distanced crowds are not a viable solution. At some stage we are going to need to return to being close to each other, and to do that will need everyone to obey the rules.
Meanwhile, stay safe while trying to support your local shops, restaurants and pubs. Never has the phrase “Use it or lose it” been more urgent. We know that a large number of places are living on the financial edge, and now is the time to show them some support.