MP COLUMN: Prime Minister let us down by breaching the rules we were respecting
Here we are again. Another Christmas with Covid haunting our lives.
It is not what anyone wanted but the new variant has brought out the best in most people.
I’m thinking of younger people who flocked to get their booster jabs as a matter of urgency. Some queued for up to seven hours. They were
rightly seeking to protect their health and that of others.
The need for all to get the jab is also about protecting the NHS. We don’t yet know the severity of the Omicron variant but we do know so far that it spreads more quickly.
That means there could be a larger pool of infected people who may need hospital treatment. The difference between the NHS coping with extra demand or being overwhelmed is difficult to judge. It’s also complicated by staff illness and exhaustion.
But any clogging of the health service could mean that those with other lethal illnesses may not be able to get vital treatment.
For this reason, I beg those who have spurned the vaccine to think again and do so quickly to radically increase their immunity. I plead with everyone to wear proper masks over their noses and mouths to enhance protections for all.
Most understand this and haven’t let their fellow citizens down. Sadly, the Prime Minister and his colleagues in Downing Street have clearly let us all down by breaching the rules we were all respecting.
Deep divisions in his party also make it harder for us to trust that judgements about how to tackle Covid are made in the national interest rather than avoiding Commons votes where he must rely on Labour MPs to do the right thing.
Thankfully, most people are listening to the chief scientists and their own morality.
Whatever you decide is the best way to celebrate, may I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy new year. And let’s hope that 2022 sees the eventual transition from Covid as a pandemic to an epidemic like flu. Let’s carry on as best and safely as we can.
Mary Glindon, North Tyneside MP.