Opinion: I’m not sure the ‘old normal’ is ever coming back

Can you remember life back in 2019? Will it ever be like that again?

Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 12:42 pm

That’s what I’ve been wondering since Monday night when Boris Johnson announced a four-week delay to so-called Freedom Day.

Many people had been looking forward to June 21 and the long-awaited removal of all coronavirus restrictions in England.

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How long will we have to 'maintain social distance'?

But the Prime Minister said cases of the Delta variant first identified in India were growing by around 64 per cent per week – and the delay was designed to allow more people to be vaccinated.

Thanks to the UK’s impressive vaccine roll-out, I really do hope we don’t see a significant spike in hospitalisations and deaths in the coming weeks and months.

Many people argue that as long as the NHS is not at risk of being overwhelmed, we shouldn’t be overly worried about cases rising.

However, a number of experts say that high cases could lead to the emergence of potentially dangerous variants – which may even ‘escape’ vaccines.

The thing is, though, Covid-19 is always going to be with us.

Covid-19 cases are always going to rise at times – then fall.

New variants are always going to be an issue and vaccines will need to be tweaked.

Sadly, there will always be Covid-19 deaths.

Covid-19 is, quite simply, not going away – and right now I can’t help but wonder if ‘Freedom Day’ will ever really come for us pandemic-weary Brits.

Will we always have to live with some restrictions on our day-to-day lives?

For example, will there always be social distancing?

Will we always have to wear face coverings in shops?

Will businesses, venues and events always be restricted?

Will there always be a ‘traffic light’ system for international travel?

Mr Johnson said he is ‘confident’ the delay will not need to be longer than four weeks – but, dear reader, let’s not forget that in March last year, 15 months ago, we were told it was a case of three weeks to ‘flatten the curve’…

I foolishly got my hopes up about June 21 – but I certainly won’t be making the same mistake where July 19 is concerned.

I’m now not so sure the ‘old normal’ is ever coming back.

What do you think? Email me on [email protected]

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