While we are clearly not out of the woods yet, I now write to you with the country in a much better situation than it was a month ago. Coronavirus case numbers are falling and have been for several weeks, and deaths and hospitalisations have both begun to follow. By the time you are reading this, some children in both Scotland and Wales should have returned to school and the Prime Minister was due to have set out a roadmap for how England would gradually move out of lockdown and towards some sort of normality. Fingers crossed there are no perturbations to upset any of those plans.
For so many of us, that return cannot come a moment too soon. While it is unarguable that the restrictions of this third lockdown in England have helped drive down case numbers from a very high level, they are not a sustainable situation for either the nation or for all of us as individuals. The pandemic is doing untold social and economic damage to our country (and so many others, of course), and while scientists urge caution in easing restrictions this must be balanced with the need to get the economy going again.