We are over a year in to the Covid-19 pandemic and what a year it has been! Many have lost loved ones, been isolated from society and we have all had to get used to a new way of living.
Whilst we are desperate for life to finally return to normal, life as we knew it will unlikely return to how it used to be for some time.
Doncaster continues to have one of the highest infection rates in the country and lots of work is taking place to understand why. To ensure that we don’t face another lockdown we must continue following guidance closely by ensuring we wash our hands regularly, wear face masks and socially distance. Additionally, we everyone who is eligible to have a Covid-19 vaccination to have it.
The next step within the government’s roadmap will take place after 17 May, but only if the four tests continue to be met. Step 3 in the roadmap will see most legal restrictions on meeting others outdoors lifted – although gatherings of over 30 people will remain illegal – and indoors the rule of 6 or 2 households will apply. The roadmap out of lockdown will allow us to return to a state of normality but this can only happen if we follow the guidance and get our infection rates down.
Although hope is in sight as the vaccine has been administered to a large percentage of our community, there is still a risk to people. Additionally, there are still many within our community who haven’t yet had the vaccine and some even reluctant to have it having read misinformation online.
Coronavirus isn’t going away so we learn to live with a ‘new normal’ I urge everyone to take care when reading vaccine information online and question whether facts are from reliable sources. I would hate for anyone to base their decision on being vaccinated or not on false information which puts your health at risk from the devastating effects Coronavirus can have on you.
If you are invited for a vaccination and have any hesitancy or are unsure whether to have it, discuss your concerns with your GP practice who will talk through your thoughts and help answers questions you may have. You can also find lots of FAQs about the vaccination on the NHS Doncaster CCG website.
Looking at what the pandemic has brought with it, alongside the loss and isolation many of us have felt, it has also brought about change and development at a fast pace in ways we never felt possible, and these changes will be around for years to come.
Digital technology has advanced massively over the last year and this is changing the way we are interacting with one another at home, work and across education. Whilst I suspect some of this will remain in place, it’s important to recognise that not everyone will benefit from the transformation that is taking place.
As human beings we can often struggle with change and we are also social in nature, so it’s inevitable that the life changes and lack of social interaction which we have experienced over the last year will lead to many people needing support with their mental health.
Regardless of what our ‘new future’ will look like, it’s important that we continue to look after one another, take responsibility for our own health by following guidance and speaking out if you need help or support.
Doncaster Mental health services: Self-help and links to support
Samaritans: Talk to us
Rethink: Local Support Groups
NHS: Talking therapies