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What A Surprise - Christmas Has Been Cancelled

You Did Not Need A Crystal Ball To See It Coming (Unless You Are Boris Johnson)

What A Surprise - Christmas Has Been Cancelled
Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash

The British Prime Minister has announced that many areas of England, including London, are now in Tier 4. Moving into the higher tier means the closure of non-essential shops, gyms and leisure centres, hairdressers and beauty salons.

It also means that Christmas has been cancelled for millions of people in the new Tier 4 areas. The rest of the country has had the five day Christmas window reduced to just one day - Christmas Day.

But why introduce the Christmas window in the first place?

At the end of November, the Government announced the relaxation of restrictions over the festive period. They said up to three households could get together over a five-day period. They did this despite several medical professionals warning them against it.

Many welcomed the idea of a Christmas window with reservations. And debated whether to take advantage of it.

Most people with half a brain cell saw the dangers of the Christmas window and decided against mixing with other households even before the latest government u-turn.

If there has been one thing the Government has been consistent with, it is u-turns

Considering how many u-turns we have seen from the Government, the reversal of the Christmas window was hardly a surprise. Once again they have had to change their minds despite four days ago saying they were not cancelling Christmas.

Throughout the pandemic, the Prime Minister has insisted the Government’s decisions are guided by science. However, he ignored the medical professionals who warned about the Christmas relaxation. Until now.

Surely everyone could see that a rapid rise was coming after the footage of thousands of people rushing to shops when they reopened?

Well, everyone except the people making important decisions.

Somehow, yet again, the Government failed to see what was happening until the last minute. Or maybe they just lack the balls to make tough decisions.

How convenient for the Government that a new strain of the virus has been discovered. One that spreads more rapidly. They can blame the new, faster spreading strain of the virus for their latest u-turn rather than admit their own incompetence.

So What If Christmas Is Cancelled?

Don't get me wrong. There is nothing better than flying home to Finland for a proper white Christmas with my family.

It was not meant to be this year and millions of people have had to change or cancel their plans. But before we complain, we should take a look at the bigger picture.

I find it hard to comprehend how much people are complaining about the latest u-turn. What is sacrificing one or two days for festive celebrations with family or friends in the grand scheme of things?

We All Miss Seeing Our Family And Friends

I know that better than many. This is the second year my plans have been cancelled and I have not been able to go home. In 2019 it was cancer and in 2020 COVID-19.

Of course I wanted to see my family this Christmas, but I'd rather keep them safe. I would rather keep my distance than risk taking the virus to them.

I watched in horror as people rushed to get home on Saturday before the tier 4 restrictions kicked in. They were crowding train stations and trains and frankly, behaving selfishly and irresponsibly. How will they feel if as a result of their actions, they end up taking the virus to their parents or other relatives?

And How About Sparing A Thought For The Doctors And Nurses?

Before people travel out of tier 4 areas and potentially spread the new strain of virus to the rest of England, they should take a moment to consider the bigger picture.

The exponential spread of the virus means increased patient numbers in hospitals, stretching the NHS even further.

The doctors and nurses working relentlessly to care for COVID-19 patients are not able to spend Christmas with their parents or extended families. They might not be able to see them for months in fear of taking the virus home.

***

I think we all should have known to expect the u-turn and made alternative plans from the start. But we also need to see the big picture.

We can sacrifice one Christmas to keep our loved ones safe.

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Reija Sillanpaa
Reija Sillanpaa
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Reija Sillanpaa

Writer, reader, blogger, charity fundraiser. Find me on: https://cyclingforcancer.co.uk/

10% of what I earn on Vocal goes to Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

See all posts by Reija Sillanpaa