Sandra Chapman: Is Covid gearing up for a productive Christmas?

Covid 19 is obviously still firing on all cylinders.

Saturday, 20th November 2021, 10:18 am
Updated Saturday, 20th November 2021, 10:20 am
Christmas switch on Larne Broadway (archive image)

It’s thriving on our love of sport and entertainment which means crowds, various forms of gatherings, pub party nights and, of course the biggest risk of all, Christmas.

This is a month when crowds fill shops, office parties are the essential start to the big holiday and then that last night in the pub when it’ an absolute must to wish your dear friends who live just next door the compliments of the season.

We know the virus loves being out there as the damage it causes is increasing by the day, not helped by those who simple don’t obey any rules. Our medics and politicians despair at our behaviour as they watch the graphs but maybe it’s only people in my age group who think more caution is needed.

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Already we’ve seen the crowds pouring out of the pubs to the tune of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (yes I know it’s only November but Christmas is getting earlier every year) and maybe that’s down to people spending now rather than waiting til even a pint costs a fortune because inflation will surely fleece us before the year’s out.

My fuel bill the other day at the pumps left me open mouthed.

Meanwhile up in south Derry a teenage disco in the Elk Bar (according to The Belfast Telegraph) was, declared by Dr Gerry Waldron of the Public Health Agency as having caused over 170 positive cases of Covid as most of the young party goers would not have been fully vaccinated.

The photograph of the event showed the crowd as tightly packed as cattle in a market-pen setting.

I know the Elk Bar as I came from that part of the country. Then it was just a wee country pub.

Now it’s a leading entertainment venue after years of struggle. Young people seem remarkably ignorant of the dangers of packed events in such circumstances.

I also look at football and rugby matches on television wondering why so many fans are allowed in while Covid is still such a risk.

Experts such as Professor Martin McKee are saying visits to Santa Claus “should be avoided this winter as cases continue to spike”. This virus he says does not know it’s Christmas and “that we should go back to basics’.

The subject of vaccine passports has arisen. Now surely that would be a step too far?