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Let's have a celebratory 'Christmas' in June

25/11/20 . Blog

The government have given the go ahead for families to mix at Christmas. What will you do?  

Just because something is allowed doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Large numbers of people of all ages stuck together in small rooms for long alcohol-lubricated periods of time in the middle of winter sounds like a perfect arrangement for spreading a virus. If that is our Christmas 2020, you don’t need the help of the ‘ghost of Christmas future’ to imagine how Christmas 2021 might be for some.

Nor do you need to be a media specialist to predict that at some point next January there will be a story in the press, probably more than one, about an older person seriously ill or worse with Covid-19 and the young family member who feels terrible because they think they infected them over Christmas.

It may be harsh to say these things but do you truly believe they won’t happen?

June bank holidays

Why then have government given ‘permission’ for a three family, five day Christmas? Because they think that people will get together anyway so they want to give some guidance? Fear of the wrath of the Tory backbencher? Reverse psychology? Give us permission and we'll consider it; ban it and we'll suddenly all want to do it.

Who knows? It’s certainly fair to say that they haven’t ‘followed the science’. One member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) has already called the plans a ‘recipe for regret for many families’  Other scientists have pointed out that the virus doesn’t know it’s Christmas and with good vaccine-related news on the horizon, it might be better to wait.

Of course, the government wants to give us good news now. But other religious festivals have been cancelled. If the government really want to help, perhaps they should suggest we all delay our celebrations by six months and announce that 25th and 26th June 2021 will be bank holidays. That would be both popular and safe.

Jim Pollard,

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