Editor: Mixed feelings as nation waits on tenterhooks yet again …

There aren’t many occasions when the country unites around their television sets these days.

Monday, 14th June 2021, 7:08 am
Young Sheffielders queue at the Crucible theatre to get their Covid vaccinations
Young Sheffielders queue at the Crucible theatre to get their Covid vaccinations

It took nothing more than a good soap opera back in the day but it requires something a little special now. We’ve got a billion channels, playback and catch up TV to blame for that.

When we don’t watch things at the same time we can’t discuss them in detail straight after, the following day at work or school.

That culture may have been lost through modern technology but some events still have magnetic attraction.

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The England team provided that pulling power yesterday afternoon and gave us something to smile about on the sunniest day of the year so far.

One match closer to the silverware that we dream our national team will bring home every time. There’s nowt wrong with optimism, regardless of what the statistics tell us, is there?

Well, that’s the problem. This evening the prime minister will have the same impact and pull people together even if for quite different reasons, although his words will doubtless divide.

We all want to know what will happen – or not – on June 21, or Freedom Day.

The government is more leaky than a cool sponge on a hot day and so we have a good idea what is going to happen – and that is a delay.

But what will the detail be and what will those who are vaccinated, including those desperately queuing at the Crucible this weekend, make of it?

That crowd illustrated perfectly that young people are just as keen as everyone else to get the jab and are eager to see things restored to what they once were.

We all want to get back to normal but we have been in much more difficult situations than we are in now.

We should follow the science but we’ve all had enough of decisions that are more about politics than public health.

It is also clear that those bars, restaurants, theatres and many more businesses who have managed to survive this far might not if they can’t get back to full capacity soon.

So we’ll huddle around the news to hear what Downing Street has to say, but we’d all much rather be watching football.

I wonder what the odds are of three Sheffield sons bringing their country Euro glory compared to our chances of the nation unifying around whatever Boris Johnson says tonight.