The big plan was that today would be dominated by Johnson’s big speech to the nation with all the Churchillian undertones to celebrate how the country had got through the COVID crisis and now, thanks to the vaccination success, we could look forward to a new future. Even the name Freedom Day fits in with the wartime references.
Unfortunately, COVID is still with us with huge numbers of new cases each day. There is some consolation to be had by the dramatic decline in the daily death tolls but the senior cabinet member dealing with the crisis going down with the infection over the weekend meant any plans for the day went out of the window.
The fact is that COVID is still with us and looks set to be part of our lives for the foreseeable future. There must be doubt about whether it will ever be possible for there to be a Freedom Day. This is in today’s Washington Post:
“Around the world, scientists and public health officials fear that the world’s protracted battle against the coronavirus is at a delicate and dangerous moment.,,Reality checks abound. Coronavirus infections are surging in places with low vaccination rates. SARS-CoV-2 is continuing to mutate. Researchers have confirmed the delta variant is far more transmissible than earlier strains. Although the vaccines remain remarkably effective, the virus has bountiful opportunities to find new ways to evade immunity. Most of the world remains unvaccinated. And so the end of the pandemic remains somewhere over the horizon.”
Maybe the political challenge is in finding a way of getting some things back to “normal’ while working around the severe constraints that COVID will continue to impose on us.