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The Covid Vaccine Means We Must Delay Christmas

Felix Brewer
·2-min read

If there is one thing we have learnt from the pandemic over the past year, it is that social isolation works. This is, however, an inconvenient truth in the lead up to Christmas.

At the time of writing, approximately 633,000 people in England are estimated to have had Covid-19 in the past week. This is one of the highest positivity rates recorded, equivalent to one in 85 people. Mortality statistics paint a similarly grim picture, with just under 2,700 deaths in the week prior, the highest figure since May.

This week also marks the end of the national lockdown. Over the next three weeks, there is expected to be intense retail and social activity, as people make preparations for Christmas and start the annual travel exodus to be with close members of their family.

This poses a significant challenge for a Covid responsible Christmas, not least as the nation is lulled into a false sense of security by the promise of the impending vaccine roll-out.

There is dangerously little capacity in the system to cope with any further infection spikes.

At a time when infection rates are some of the highest they have ever been, people are permitted to have three weeks of heightened social activity, which will inevitably lead to a further spike in covid cases. This will be swiftly followed by five days of intense indoor social interactions, as small family groups are allowed to celebrate Christmas together.

Complacency with regard to social distancing is also likely to increase, both due to the news of the vaccine and the inebriating effects of festive celebrations.

Christmas has the potential to become a national super-spreader event, leading to a catastrophic rise in cases at the start of the New Year. The effect of Thanksgiving in the United States proves testament to this.

Moreover, these celebrations are likely to represent the most significant exposure to covid for many of the most vulnerable members of the population who have been shielding over the past year. This is...

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