We have a chance of a brighter future if we learn pandemic lessons, says Sheffield business leader
The roll-out of a vaccine is most welcome and now provides hope of a brighter future.
However, it will not precipitate a speedy return to normality, as no-one should underestimate the logistical challenge of delivery of them to millions of us.
While we can be optimistic, we have to be patient, certainly over Christmas where the temptation to be more relaxed will be strong, particularly to those restricted for months and not able to associate with their loved ones.
However, if we can show a degree of restraint over the festive period, we can ourselves and our families keep safe and look forward to ultimately a happier 2021.
It is reassuring that care homes and carers will get priority for the vaccines, bringing much-needed freedom to residents isolated from family support for such a long time,
The arrival of the vaccines will enable us to plan for a future of more freedoms and learn both personal, organisational and government lessons .
The first crucial lesson is that we are all responsible for our own health and our freedoms come with the responsibility to protect others by personal self-discipline.
Getting fitter provided a better protection from coronavirus and that realisation should stimulate us to get our future exercise and good nutrition regimes in place in the New Year.
Organisations will not have to be reminded of the fact health and economic wellbeing are inextricably linked and keeping their businesses and employees safe a key priority.
As well as the physical consequences of coronavirus, the mounting psychological damage the pandemic has created will require major resources to be allocated to sufferers and an NHS already under stress balancing resources to respond to Covid and non-Covid cases.
The vaccines will provide us with a safer context to rebuild our lives.
However, given the suffering, we have to aspire to a better country, where adequate investment is given to the NHS, training facilities for the unemployed, schools that have access to remote devices, as well as proper resources for parks and leisure facilities.
Environmental and transport challenges should balance needs of all stakeholders.
Indeed, our way of initiating these changes is worthy of our best endeavours to maximise collaboration and effective communication to seek acceptable solutions that bring communities together.
We have learnt how crucial universal acceptance of restrictions during the pandemic is.
The same discipline must also be applied to how we consult and embrace the views of all stakeholders as we aim for a better city.