THESE are probably going to be the most dangerous days of the pandemic.

People are itching furiously to get out and restart living. Children desperately need to get back to school. With Government borrowing at the highest peacetime level, we need to resume economic activity so rates reliefs can come to an end and we can start paying taxes.

The vaccine roll-out is giving us hope – nationally we passed the 10m figure; even locally, in Darlington, we’ve passed 10,000.

The figures are also giving us hope – from new infections to deaths, they are all moving downwards.

That hope will increase pressure to get the return to normality under way, that people will think the immediate danger has passed, and they won’t abide by the restrictions so rigidly.

But still 1,449 people died in the UK of coronavirus yesterday – if we’d heard that figure a year ago, we would have been shocked and mortified. Bizarrely, now it is a piece of good news.

And the new variants – or, more accurately, variants of variants – are a big worry, with a few postcodes now being plunged into the tightest lockdowns.

So we are not out of the woods yet. There is light through the trees, but it is a long way off yet. Don’t let your guard down. Stay safe…