HOW on earth will we ever get ahead in this battle against Covid? As soon as we see a glimmer of light, with the R number dropping below one, we have clever so-and-sos claiming that we should reduce lockdown and get back to normal. Are these idiots for real? There is no normal.

My cousin’s husband died two weeks ago. He was 60 years old, fit as fire, didn’t smoke, not a drinker, no underlying issues. He is dead, gone forever – not a week or a month, but forever.

A dear friend’s wife has just been discharged from hospital two days ago having almost lost her life. The only reason she is still here is because she was fortunate to have ended up in the very South Yorkshire hospital that was on the TV news and which used an experimental Oxford drug with her permission. Without it, she too would be dead. She is still not out of the woods and she had no underlying issues apart from being over 60.

If everyone were sensible, then a reduction of restrictions would be great. But they aren’t. We aren’t. It is human nature to think: “Oh, it won’t happen to me.”

Another friend of mine and a well-known and respected Darlington young man, very fit and healthy, thought nothing of Covid. He dismissed it as a bad cold, but he ended up unable to breathe and, on Christmas Day, was coughing up blood when he told his wife: “This Covid is going to kill me.” Thank goodness, it didn’t.

When you get a course of antibiotics, you need to finish it. If you stop a quarter of the way through then later restart it, your body becomes immune and the drugs stop working. Covid is the same. If you don’t eradicate it or get it to a manageable level, it will come back and back and back.

We need all over-50s vaccinated first or it will bite our ass big style because it will come back worse yet again.

John Cumberland, Rushyford.