With temperatures due to soar and fall in the Brentwood and Ongar constituency this week it seems the weather is reflecting something of the up and down nature of coronavirus cases in recent weeks.
With the Brentwood Centre and St Margaret’s in Epping doing sterling work as the mass vaccination hubs for most of us in the Brentwood and Ongar, local residents are part of the 30 million people in the UK who have now received the first, and even the second, dose of a COVID-19 vaccine so far. 57% of all adults in the UK have now had the vaccine.
I received confirmation this week that many teachers in our local schools have been invited to have their first vaccination, no matter what their age, and I know this will be a great relief to many who have been concerned about having to mix with large groups of students as part of their day in school.
As of this week, lockdown restrictions start to slowly and cautiously be eased, with groups of six or two households allowed to meet outside as long as they socially distance and keep up the regular handwashing. This means families can get together in small groups in local parks or private gardens over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.
Outdoor sports facilities also open from this week, and the Prime Minister has urged us all to get out and get active, with a target of at least sixty minutes of activity a week for the, or two and a half hours for adults. After weeks of being glued to computer screens for online learning and working, I’m fairly sure all of us will enjoy being out in the sunshine and we are working with schools to see how we can get children fit and fully active in the coming months, both at school and during the holidays.
This is a slow process. We do not want to have a third wave and have to return to lockdown. So while the coronavirus infection rates are low, and COVID-19 hospital admissions are falling, let’s cautiously step out into the sunshine and look forward to the good times ahead.