Just in case you’re reading this with rain battering the windows and the heating fully on, it was written as the sun shone through into my living room.
Not that you need sunshine to be positive, of course, but there’s definitely a feeling around that things are on the up following the announcement of the roadmap out of COVID-19 restrictions.
Looking back to the start of the year – unless your business practices were pretty much untouched by the lockdown – then January was an horrific month to deal with.
The immediate lockdown and closure of schools, just one day into the new year, ended any early optimism that 2021 would get off to a flying start.
It seemed as though everyone you spoke to was going through a tough time with no real end in sight. We knew we’d eventually come out of it but it’s the not knowing which makes life difficult, especially when having to reassure children.
And the backdrop to it all was an immense amount of suffering. This second wave seems to have hit many far closer to home than the first.
However, February came around and with the huge success of the vaccination roll-out we could at last begin to look forward.
I don’t know about you, but I think the February weather helped with people’s spirits, too. Either bloody freezing with a decent amount of snow, or nice crisp sunny days. At least you know where you are with weather like that, not the 31 days of cold mizzle we seemed to have in January.
So here we are in March. Who’d have thought 12 months ago that we’d go through what we have done?
Lives put on hold, businesses ruined, education as we know it all but shut down and the severest ever restrictions put on our freedom.
And yet we battle on in hope that what the government has planned will happen. I’m naturally untrustworthy of politicians and their pronouncements, but what has been laid out seems, to me at least, to be realistic.
Yes, it would be nice to throw everything open straightaway, but the staggered timeframe at least provides the opportunity to go nice and steady.
I also think there will be a period of readjustment for people as we get acclimatised to just how busy life used to be with the myriad of options available to us in a ‘normal’ world.
Hopefully this will be the last edition of unLTD that is only produced digitally. It would be lovely to see hard copies of the magazine in businesses, cafes and bars across South Yorkshire this spring and summer.
For that to happen we’ll have to wait just a little while longer – but with sunny days ahead it’ll be worth it.