The seasonal sense of hope at Easter is this year boosted by prospect of end to lockdown

News Letter editorial of Saturday April 3 2021:

Saturday, 3rd April 2021, 9:09 am
Updated Saturday, 3rd April 2021, 9:19 am
News Letter editorial

Easter is a time of hope and renewal.

For people of the Christian faith, of whom there are more than a billion in the world, it is above all the extraordinary story of the resurrection after the crucifixion.

For people of other faiths or none, it is in our northern hemisphere the season of spring and of the joy of ever improving weather heading into the summer.

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This year this ancient holiday falls at a time of particular hope that we are emerging from a year like no other in recent memory. Covid plunged most of the planet into lockdown. A year ago, as borders were being shut, maps of the closures illustrated almost unthinkable barriers to movement in a era in which air travel was ever expanding.

The pandemic has been less bad than it might have been, but even so millions of people have died while infected with Covid, including 2,000+ in Northern Ireland

We have learned much about viruses and the mostly enduring human spirit of co-operation. People are tired now of restrictions, and with good reason. The vaccine rollout in the UK has been rapid, yet the arrival of the South African variant, to which the AstraZeneca jab offers reportedly limited resistance, is a reminder against complacency.

NI deserves a more rapid lockdown exit than is planned (see pages 16 and 17). If it does happen, and people use their refound freedom to keep distances and behave responsibly, a return to normality including holiday travel seems ever more feasible.

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Alistair Bushe