An open letter by councillor Colin Smith, leader of Bromley Council
Looking back, it is difficult to believe it was virtually a year ago to the day that our country suffered its first fatality to COVID-19.
Within days, others would sadly follow, within weeks the first lockdown had begun and a prominent health specialist warned that the UK would do well to keep deaths below 20,000. Some criticised him for scaremongering at the time. If only.
Today, a year on, after months of selfless personal sacrifice by our brave front line public services, we stand on the very cusp of finally putting the misery of 2020 behind us and moving forward, thanks in very large part to the brilliance of British science and the accelerated roll out of the national vaccination programme.
Tomorrow, as the first step of the government’s COVID-19 exit strategy, our schools will reopen as you may know.
A time of great joy for students keen to see their friends I’m absolutely certain, as well as utter relief for mums, dads and guardians to hand back home tuition duties to the experts, both of which are clearly hugely welcome news. The event does, however, also bring with it a renewed threat to the speed of the reduction in new infection rates locally.
Despite the amazing success of the vaccination programme locally, it is with that in mind that I write to you today with a respectful reminder and request, as complacency is now our biggest danger.
If you are picking up or dropping off at school, could you please continue to social distance and wear a mask in the presence of others as best you can and avoid direct physical contact at all times.
Also, to those who have been fortunate enough to have had your vaccination already, particularly within the last three weeks, please do not drop your guard yet under any circumstances. This battle still isn’t over yet.
You are very much safer than you were, but you are not immune, so you must still take care and follow the guidelines.
It is as true today as it ever has been that washing hands regularly, wearing masks where requested to do so and strictly observing social distancing at all times will continue to save lives, prevent serious illness and protect the NHS, so please let’s all just do it.
We’re on the home stretch and the end is in sight, let’s not blow it now.
Councillor Colin P. Smith, leader of Bromley Council.
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