A return to freedom and friends reunited

PERHAPS it was inevitable that after 15 months of waiting, fog would descend to delay for a couple more hours the family and friends reunions that some had been desperate for.

Despite two lockdowns, those happy to remain effectively stuck in Guernsey since March 2020 have been able, for the majority of that time, to enjoy more or less freedom as usual.

We will all hold different views on the strategies used to combat Covid-19 in the island over that period, but divergence of views is bound to be more significant in relation to the current strategy to allow opening up of the borders.

Once that fog lifted yesterday morning, we had a glimpse of our past and our future coming together to spark a new sense of liberation.

However it is clear that we as a community may still have some distance to go to learn to live with Covid. The experience of Jersey, which last night announced a further two-week delay on its plans to remove its last few remaining on-island restrictions, and where live Covid cases are set to rise beyond 500 over the weekend, will still concern some islanders here.

Their delay will enable more younger people to receive a first dose of a vaccine, and the island is placing its full faith in vaccination, stating that although cases are rising as it struggles with the spread of the Delta variant, its Covid case numbers will not dictate the final stages of the island’s reconnection.

Today we share the experience of a local resident who contracted Covid off-island, but whose treatment locally and experience of the illness has convinced him that opening borders and trusting the vaccine is the right thing for the island to do.

Contracting the virus was not a failure of vaccination, he said, restricting symptoms to that of standard flu. Unpleasant for the patient, but having no impact on local hospital services.

‘Would we continue to close our borders and restrict freedom to travel to prevent the symptoms of normal flu or a common cold?’ he asks.

Yesterday was the first step towards enabling us to regain lost freedoms, and is now what living with Covid is all about.

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