WELCOME

It's Here!

by Dorothy Martin, Publisher

As I write this, news has just broken that the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine for Covid-19 has been approved for use in the UK.

I can almost hear the collective cheer echoing around the world.

If many epidemiologists and virologists are correct in their assumptions, this is the particular vaccine that’s going to be the game changer; not just for the UK vaccine roll out but for the whole world. Cheap, relatively easy to transport and using tried and proven vaccine technologies, this has the potential to spread across the globe hopefully as quickly as the virus itself.

I cannot think of a better announcement as we roll in to 2021. The pressures of the last year have seen deep fissures, cracks and divisions appear throughout global society and oftentimes, for many has seemed simply too much to bear. We will not suddenly spring back to a sense of normality of course, indeed the nature of this pandemic seems to be that we may well see the worst few months ahead, but there is real hope on the horizon and I hope that steels your reserve to ‘dig in’ and see this thing through to its conclusion.

On a personal level the past year has taught me a number of things: to see the importance of the smaller things in life and enjoy them while I can, to realise that I don’t actually need quite as much excess in my ‘day-to-day’ as I was used to, to be as content as possible with all the positive things in my life (and try not worry so much about the negatives) and maybe most importantly of all, to try and appreciate that life is a fragile thing and should be treated with the humility, appreciation and respect (and fun of course) it deserves.

How will our ‘new normal’ look when it finally arrives in the distant months ahead? Some things will certainly change. Work from home becoming a norm, masses of small businesses forced under, a massive shift to online shopping, acceleration of automated jobs with mass unemployment and almost countless re-alignments on everything from housing preferences to the treatment of mental health and the most vulnerable in our society.

Whether these are positive or negative changes is all still to be decided of course but it is time to make our voice heard, to learn from the experience we have all shared in one way or another and strive to enforce real change. If history is any barometer, we may well see a movement toward a new ‘roaring 20’s’ – as people emerge blinking from a Netflix and socially isolated induced stupor (with apologies to all the front-line people who have worked as usual all the way through this), the pent up demand for social interaction, enjoyment, the arts, travel…… the things that help people to be… well, people, will be astronomical. How many Birthdays have been missed? Anniversaries? Weddings? First kisses?

I’m far from a killjoy but I do hope that in peoples rush to get back to ‘normal’ we don’t let the allure of unbridled hedonism (even writing that term makes me feel old and codgery, but bear with me, I’m keeping with the 20’s theme), stray us too far from affecting this badly needed change. Succinctly, maybe these times of having less can teach us to need less.

That being said, when (and if) I can, I will be raising a glass with some friends and wishing the best for all of us.

Have a great New Year

Wishing you all Health, Wealth and Happiness for 2021.