It has been a long time since wishing everyone a very happy New Year has been said with so much genuine hope and sincerity. 2020 came in with a whimper and went out with a bang. 2021 is coming in with a bang, so hopefully, in the wonderful world of symmetry, it will go out with a whimper. We have lived through an historic time recently, with our United Kingdom facing both natural and self-made crises. Over the Christmas period we received news that helped us get through bitter disappointments around planned Christmas celebrations. In no particular order, we were told Brexit was settled, though wading through a 1200+ word Agreement to find out what it actually meant, wasn’t most people’s idea of a fun Christmas Day. Mind you, given the record number of ‘repeats’ on TV, it was one of the few brand new things you could look at!
The second was the news our Bildeston Health Centre was organising Covid vaccinations from the Hadleigh Health Centre or East Bergholt Health Centres, starting this month in the priority order of elderly, vulnerable people over 80 years old first. The Brexit saga seems to have provided us with a sort of end in sight. Common
sense and compromise finally won as the real deadline of 1st January loomed large. Thousands of lorries using Kent as a car park over Christmas, might have helped focus minds across Europe. Over four years of continual news coverage, dire warnings, sound bites, negotiations, threats and fractious meetings was dominating our lives. Until coronavirus came along and moved it down to second place, replacing it with something even worse for us to be frightened of. So if 2021 gives us a chance to put Brexit to bed, whatever your views about it are, it will be another small step in our journey this year towards getting our lives back to normality.
The other small step is a proper national mass vaccination programme, the only real effective way of eventually defeating this virus. Another disappointment before Christmas, was to find out that not a single hospital in the whole of Suffolk had freezers capable of storing the Pfizer BioNtech vaccine. Suffolk looked doomed to be left out of a national roll out programme, forced to cross the border into darkest Essex! When could our vulnerable and elderly residents get the jab? Now the Oxford vaccine is authorised, we should get the ‘jab’ very soon and maybe even in our own Bildeston centre. Meanwhile, we are back in another lockdown, Tier 4 they call it, which is virtually the same.
2021 will turn out better. We need to stay optimistic, positive and resilient. We need to remember 2020 as a lesson in looking after each other, valuing our locality, our own community, its shops and its hospitality businesses. It wasn’t the best of years, but, by and large,we rose to the challenges and, by the end of 2021, we should be able to look back and say, “we got through it, and we got through it together.” The Bugle team mean it most sincerely when we wish you all a very happy New Year!