IT has to be better than last year, doesn't it?

A quick look back to the beginnings of 2020 should give us hope. January 1, 2020, was greeted with fireworks the world over but it found the UK still pre-occupied with Brexit, wondering whether our new Prime Minister's bravado would extricate us from the European Union. There were great doubts but, to his credit, Boris Johnson has pulled it off and, as of today, we have left the EU with a free trade deal. There are problems – and hopefully opportunities –ahead, but the country has moved forward enormously in a year.

Amid those New Year fireworks, no one was really worrying about reports of the first 27 hospitalisations in Wuhan in China – a city of which most of us had never heard – from a new respiratory disease that seemed to be linked to a fish market. But in just a year, that virus swept the world, and, having weathered the first wave, we enter 2021 in a grave, locked down, situation.

However, the last 12 months show just how quickly, and profoundly, things change, so we can say with some certainty that it won't be like this forever. The imminent vaccine offers a return to a degree of normality, and so there is genuine hope in the light of the dawn of the new year.