THESE are sobering times. Cases of Covid are rising right across our region and we are probably a fortnight behind the south-east where the new infectious strain was first identified and where the NHS is now so stretched that a “major incident” was declared yesterday.

There were 1,325 deaths yesterday taking the total to nearly 80,000.

And, with 68,000 new infections (although the real number is probably double that), the fatality numbers seem set to continue to rise for some time to come.

It is so unremittingly grim that this week’s scenes from America, shocking as they are, have been a welcome distraction – something on the news that is not about death and disruption on our own doorstep.

But our health workers must fear that there is a tsunami bearing down on them.

At this moment, there is little point in blaming the Government for this, that or the other. We really must look at our own contribution, and we must look after our own lives.

The weather this weekend is going to be horrible as the snow begins to melt: chilly, slushy and the kind of wet that seeps through every layer. If there is no need to go out, don’t. Stay home, save lives.