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Covid is still a deadly threat in Britain – we can’t just pretend it’s gone away | Frances Ryan

Without a plan in place to minimise infection, a ‘moving on’ strategy leaves vulnerable people behind

As the season of Christmas work parties and drinks with friends begins, it feels a distance from the December of two years ago, at the height of the pandemic. We will hug our grandparents, hardly remembering a time when that was anything remarkable. Perhaps that’s why the news that Covid infections in the UK have passed 1m cases again has barely raised a murmur.

Months of lockdowns and the grief of losing our loved ones, often without being able to say goodbye, was a collective trauma, and one that we have not dealt with as a nation. The ease of Matt Hancock’s rehabilitation suggests a public keen to bury the pain, keep calm and carry on. There is a noticeable – and understandable – urge to “move on” from the pandemic, even as it still happens around us. Ministers hardly help, talking of “post-Covid” just as ICU beds fill up again.

Frances Ryan is a Guardian columnist

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