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Should there be a relaxation of restrictions for the Christmas period?

None of us knows what Christmas has in store for us this year yet, but one thing is certain – the virus doesn’t recognise public holidays and festivities and will not be changing its plans – Covid does not take a day off!

The Government apparently plans to briefly relax household mixing around Christmas but details are still being debated behind closed doors.

They will also decide next week how to end the second national lockdown as ministers come under pressure to outline any restrictions which could be in place over the Christmas period.

The Sun reported a five-day temporary relaxation of restrictions, allowing different households to mix indoors, was among the options being considered by health bosses.

One Tory MP warned today it would be better for the Prime Minister to cancel Christmas and be branded the ‘Grinch’ rather than risk a spike in Covid-19 deaths that could paint him as the ‘Grim Reaper’. They said: ‘He’s going to be blamed for the rise in deaths. It is always in mid to late January you get the NHS winter crisis’.

We are in uncharted waters and it is currently impossible to make plans for how we may or may not be able to see our families safely during the Christmas period.

Is it time that the Government levelled with the British public and said the rise in Covid cases means that mixing at Christmas makes no sense or should they lead us to believe ‘that the show will go on’?

What are your views? Should the restrictions be relaxed throughout the UK to allow households to mix? 

Should there be a relaxation of restrictions for the Christmas period?

1388 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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Trillium
1 days ago
0
Thanks for voting!
Covid-19 doesn’t discriminate .... doesn’t matter if it’s Christmas, Thanksgiving or any other day of the week.
Trillium
Retiredyorkie
2 days ago
0
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Its a matter of personal choice.
SissieSis
3 days ago
0
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I realise it is very hard for lonely people but speaking purely for myself, I would rather we were all safe than the thought of never seeing them again.
I do see my family as I am in their child care bubble but they don’t come to the house at the same time. We will be adhering to the rules but not all mixing together at the same time.
During the first lockdown, I didn’t t see any for a month or so as so we were all safe.
Casualgrey
4 days ago
0
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MarionS
24th Nov 2020
0
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A maximum of 4 people indoors for Christmas day only.
Bev61
23rd Nov 2020
1
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i dont think pubs should be open,
but dont think we can stop familys mixing in doors
everoptimistic
23rd Nov 2020
2
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Restrictions should not be eased over Christmas. People will not adhere to the guidelines, the NHS will be overwhelmed and the whole country will again be in lockdown.
rainytoday
23rd Nov 2020
1
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Entirely in agreement with you, if we could only be patient for just a few months more we would have the vaccine.
Retiredyorkie
2 days ago
0
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Well said - I agree with everything - NHS will not have time to socialise over Christmas they will be working -
Gerryp
22nd Nov 2020
4
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Let's have a properly organized easing of restrictions with some controls in place. If not I believe many people will organise their own uncontrolled easing after months of varying and often contradictory and unsupported restrictions. This may lead to an even larger number of infections. Maybe it's time to treat us as adults,
Not2grey
21st Nov 2020
3
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I'm not Dying for Christmas .
viking
21st Nov 2020
2
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Interesting comment Not2grey.
It looks as though there are many who wish to die for Christmas by their remarks.
Not2grey
21st Nov 2020
1
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I have no wish to Die for Christmas although I reserve the right to change my mind dependent on the circumstances .
Frengee
21st Nov 2020
0
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Yes, there should - people will break restrictions anyway so why waste all that police time and effort? Sensible people will take precautions to protect their friends and family, and the rest will do as they've done all along - ignore advice. So allow families and friends to get together over Christmas, the country needs some hope, and this way it can be managed rather than a free-for-all
JinxB
21st Nov 2020
2
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If they ease the restrictions it will lead to a spike of infections but once you have let the genie out of the bottle it will be more difficult to get it back in again, however, if mass vaccination becomes available in Dec it might not be necessary to re-introduce such strict lockdown restrictions
Lionel
20th Nov 2020
7
Thanks for voting!
I believe we're facing the greatest test of two or maybe three generations. Not since the Second War has the population of Great Britain been under such a threat of death.

It's my conviction we as a nation must grow up and man up, or probably die, but horribly. The death toll stands at around fifty thousand today; that's the first wave. Isn't that enough for us all to cop on to the idea this is not a game where, win or lose, we walk away. There's no re-set button; we can't go back to the start and try again.

This death dealing virus is not going on holiday over our Christmas, just to return on January 1st, at our convenience. No, we've got a war on our hands here.

Best advice to Boris is forget Carrie's green agenda. Lock down the entire nation completely and utterly. A hard lock down. Nothing in and nothing out. Shut down everything, confine us all to our homes for perhaps three months. Get tough. Really tough. This is war with an unseen enemy.

We soothe ourselves with Second World War nostalgia yet forget just how terrible an experience that was for so very many. Nostalgia is cheap because we know how it ended! We don't yet know who will be left standing after this war.

It's this simple: I may read your post tonight and you be gone before I sit at this computer again.

Until we take this seriously and react appropriately to this death threat we all stand in the way of the graveyard but before our time.

Christmas can wait. My friend in New Zealand celebrates Christmas on a beach in June! Just for once let's be inconvenienced and live.
JE
20th Nov 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
There are more and more people ignoring the existing rules, so irrespective of what the government decide, people will still do their own thing over the Christmas period.
From my point of view, irrespective of any relaxations that may be given, we have already decided not to have our usual family gatherings over Christmas and New Year and instead have opted for only individual households and bubbles to get together. There are a couple of vulnerable people in our family and we want to protect them and each other and we have agreed it’s a sacrifice that must be made.
Alison61
20th Nov 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
I think there should be as far as families getting together at home.
To me Christmas is all about being with your family.
Most would be sensible anyway, the ones who are not will take no notice of the rules anyway.
Patricia10
20th Nov 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
There is no guarantee when and if we come out of lockdown on 2nd December we will be back where we were which caused us back into lockdown Pubs, Restaurants, Gyms and non essential shops people will flock to these for Christmas Shopping don't get me wrong I love Christmas but I would sooner forfeit Christmas to get rid of Covid. I live alone and loved going to theatres and visiting Cathedrals now I have to shield and now and I am very lonely.
AnnW5
20th Nov 2020
7
Thanks for voting!
They should only relax the rules when it's safe to do so, even if it is Christmas.
Lionel
20th Nov 2020
4
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Very well said. I completely agree with you Ann.
Fruitcake13
21st Nov 2020
3
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I agree with you, AnnW5, wholeheartedly!
Wilf
21st Nov 2020
4
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Totally agree Ann and they should keep up the lockdown until we have eradicated the virus like in Australia
Lorraine
20th Nov 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
Looking forward to a vaccine being available in the near future. This will make a great difference to everyone's life.
Lionel
20th Nov 2020
2
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But be aware Lorraine, it is not the magic bullet we're all hoping for.
JinxB
21st Nov 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
It may not be a magic bullet but if it is effective it may well lead to easing of the restrctions safely
maggie26
20th Nov 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
we only have a small family
ArthurB4
20th Nov 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Most people are sensible and will keep themselves and their families safe.
However there are others that think they will never catch this Coronavirus or simply just do not care.
We all have seen what happens when people have a few too many drinks you just do not have your wits about you.
We just need to ride this awful disease out even if it takes until the end of 2021.
It has to be done.
People have had so much freedom to do what they like since the 1960's and when they have to Obey new rules which restrict them, some just start screaming and shouting from the rooftops.
Lionel
20th Nov 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
There's a lot of common sense in what you say Arthur and that's a very rare commodity these days. I agree with you about riding it out, but my researches into the Spanish flu outbreak 0f 1918 lead me to believe there will be a second wave; far more contagious and devastating than anything we've seen in a hundred years. But as I've just written to Wilf below, I'm a farmer not a scientist so I may be wrong.
JinxB
21st Nov 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
some people still think this is all just a conspiracy for the government to control people even to the extent of someone claiming that Bill Gates was putting tracking chips into the vaccine, the paranoia that is around is sometimes unbelievable
cehodgson
20th Nov 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Yes but only for Christmas Day with a limit of numbers meeting and no staying over. I personally am not sure about meeting my family , although I want to. I’d hate one day to cause more illness and deaths. Maybe if people are given the choice, they will feel less caged in if they don’t see the family as they’ve chosen this action.
Bald123
19th Nov 2020
2
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Maybe for 2 days Boris should release us all out of our misery and then we can all climb back into the trogloditic holes we are living in.
JinxB
21st Nov 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
it only takes a minute to get infected, if you are asymptomatic and mingle with family members you could pass the infection to vulnerable members of your family or you could get infected yourself, are you prepared to take that risk, also those members of your family could then disperse infecting others outside of your immediate circle, that is probably why the R rate isn't falling quickly enough because too many people think they are OK to mix with family in their own houses
Lionel
19th Nov 2020
6
Thanks for voting!
Oh dear, what a mess we're in! Do we do Christmas or don't we? We must await a decision from our political masters, not a vote in the House of Commons.

It seems to me, and you'll forgive my sarcasm here - I am lockdown weary - whether we do Christmas or not has already been decided in the most private chamber in 10 Downing Street. One may just imagine the scene ... in the post-coital afterglow, those blissful and most vulnerable moments, a sweet young woman's voice says, ' Oh Bozzie, darling. You really must let the plebs have Christmas. Five days, no more. They spend like fury, celebrate like mad ... oh yes, Bozzy, we'll lose a few thousand more to Covid but what the hell? There's people to spare in the UK. Bozzy darling, I'm still here ..."

It's got the ring of a mid-sixties Carry on film. Carrie on Boris.

I bet that gets me some down votes!
Wilf
19th Nov 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
Now "Princess Nut Nuts" has got rid of that village idiot Cummings she can direct Boris to be a softer and more lovable PM. I am sure with this new more loving Boris as you say Lionel all the plebs will be let out of our hovels for a few days before we are shut back in for another couple of months. Why Boris and his cronies were not tougher 10 months ago like the Ozzys have been really makes me wonder who has the brain cell in HMGov. It's obvious as an island if we locked down tight for a few months and made all entries into the UK isolate in hotels for 2 weeks (like our mates the Ozzies and Kiwis hav done) we would be Covid free. Instead, we are still trashing about like a drowning man. What a mess!!!!
Wilf
19th Nov 2020
2
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Now "Princess Nut Nuts" has got rid of that village idiot Cummings she can direct Boris to be a softer and more lovable PM. I am sure with this new more loving Boris as you say Lionel all the plebs will be let out of our hovels for a few days before we are shut back in for another couple of months. Why Boris and his cronies were not tougher 10 months ago like the Ozzys have been really makes me wonder who has the brain cell in HMGov. It's obvious as an island if we locked down tight for a few months and made all entries into the UK isolate in hotels for 2 weeks (like our mates the Ozzies and Kiwis have done) we would be Covid free. Instead, we are still trashing about like a drowning man. What a mess!!!!
Lionel
19th Nov 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Oh Wilf, you do so tempt me. Who has the brain cell in HMGov? We're not quite spoilt for choice, are we? Let's be honest here, after so my years of Whitehall mismanagement it's abundantly clear the brain cell in question is unequally shared as the situation demands. Could this be the only area of competition in Defence Procurement?

Whilst I completely agree with shutting down this island, including No 1 runway at Heathrow for private jets, I must ask someone, who the hell is in charge here? We're governed by edict from Boris, or maybe it's Carrie. But such a form of government has no legal basis in our democracy. The two latest wheezes from Boris/Carrie, killing sales of petrol/diesel vehicles by 2030 and killing gas boilers in three years are quite unconstitutional and not covered by the body of new laws enacted by parliament in March. As far as I know, our elected Parliament has not fully debated these matters nor voted on them. Or am I missing something here?

Constitutional matters aside for a moment, we have teams of highly qualified scientists working for SAGE and many other august bodies who just don't have a clue what to do. Did nobody other than me make a study of Spanish Flu? We're told a vaccine is almost ready. It's been almost ready since June! When it is available a vaccine will not be a magic bullet, proofing anyone against Covid. At it's very best it will offer a better chance of surviving this strain of Covid. The true Second Wave is yet to come.

Back in August I suggested on Surfers we could be looking at a change of Prime Minister by Christmas. I think it's quite likely and, depending who succeeds Boris, it could be welcome. I hear The Donald is looking for a post, what do you think Wilf?
Wilf
19th Nov 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
I actually think Lionel the most sensible thing Boris has said is to stop selling petrol and diesel by 2030. Who on earth wants to breathe in all the muck they chuck out? It's as bad as smoking and we know what that does to people. Now turning to Covid I say let's see what happens with the vaccines-this is nearly 2021 we have amazing technology and it maybe-just maybe, the solution. It had better be as another year like this is difficult to contemplate. Bets on Boris staying put in No10? I give him until spring. The issue is who then? Gove-please no....Gavin Williamson (aka Private Pike)...um No...Rishi? Yes-he has intelligence and charisma and likeability. Let's see.
Lionel
20th Nov 2020
2
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Rishi in Hindu and other far East religions means fount of all wisdom. Perhaps we'll see although not a lot of evidence so far. He's splashed shed loads of unaccounted for cash which our great grandchildren will be paying back. We have a great-grandson, three months old. To think he, if there's still employment around, will be paying for Covid appalls me.

As to who comes after Boris, well, surveying the possible candidates I think it could be a good time to migrate. We're a little old for that now, but none the less my roots are Eastern European and there's always been a tug in my heart.

I just don't see a strong man, a charismatic and decisive man with an appropriate background. Whatever you may think of Trump he bestrode the world stage; unafraid to face down China and Russia. If you think Sunak might be our next leader just think. Hindus are a pacifist people - they'll sacrifice anything for peace. That might include you and I!

And once again I come to the point of the Covid second wave. What we see now is not the second wave, it is an extension of the first wave. When that second wave comes, and it will by spring time, then we won't be worrying about a new prime minister, we'll all be hiding away fearful of all human contact. That's how it was in 1919 with Spanish 'flu.
Wilf
20th Nov 2020
1
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You have just enlightened me about Rishi, Lionel. Do you think the virus will mutate then causing the 2nd wave?
Lionel
20th Nov 2020
2
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Wilf, I apologize for not replying earlier. We've been consumed with heavyweight domestic stuff today.

It is only my opinion I may offer in reply. I'm a farmer not a scientist. However, such records as were kept of the 1880's Russian Flu epidemic and Spanish Flu forty years later would indicate a second, mutated and more contagious and lethal outbreak is imminent. This doesn't mean it will happen, just that the pattern of the two most lethal flu epidemics to hit the UK in well over a hundred years mutated. Seemingly, all these recorded strains of flu are cousins, so to speak.

Records are scarce; even the British Museum Library has little of worth in this matter. I've spent some months piecing together pieces in a fragmented jigsaw. Erring on the side of caution I must still say a much worse outbreak is very likely.

What we are experiencing today is not a true second wave but a resurgence of the first wave; at least as far as we're informed.

Again, Wilf, I say I'm not a scientist.
Wilf
20th Nov 2020
2
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Interesting Lionel. It's especially worrying when you have issues like the Mink in Denmark having it and scientists saying it has mutated in them. Worrying times but I think science will overcome!
Lionel
20th Nov 2020
2
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Wilf, I do so hope and pray deeply I'm wrong. But the historical record would disagree with that sentiment.

Science is way behind this outbreak. They're currently playing catchup. Yes, science has provided vaccines but as I've said so often they're not the magic bullet we all want to believe. They're an Elastoplast on a gaping, bleeding wound. Any variation of the genetic makeup or structure of the Covid virus as we know it will render the virus almost ineffective. We'll be protecting ourselves against a strain of Covid that's been superceded.

I'm not denigrating science, Wilf, no, just pointing out that this virus is way ahead of our game so far.

You might recall way back in the mid-sixties a lone sailor circumnavigating the world. Francis Chichester. I have his 1964 autobiography. Read it many times as he inspires me. In that book he records his time at Marlborough College in Wiltshire, the alma mater of Duchess Kate. In Chichester's day, during the Spanish Flu outbreak, they slept about twenty to a dorm on pallyasses in freezing conditions. Spanish Flu hit the area and took the College as well. He records these words about that time. 'Not many of us died.'

At first reading it seems he's playing down the deaths. A second reading I understand forty years after the event he still could not address the loss of close friends. There were more than he cared to write.
Lionel
20th Nov 2020
2
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Wilf, there's a typo in there. Any variation of the genetic makeup or structure of the Covid virus as we know it will render the virus almost ineffective.'

That should read, 'render the vaccine almost ineffective.'
JinxB
21st Nov 2020
1
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whilst I agree with the principle of reducing our dependence on fossil fuel in transport & would love to go fully electric I cannot afford to, I struggled to purchase a Hybrid vehicle last year because of the additional premium in price but the extra £10k for an EV puts it well beyond my finances, I live in a rural area & my wife has to commute to work, she doesn't drive & relies on me to get to work so an electric vehicle would be ideal but with two charging points where she works that are always occupied the is very little infrastructure, I am lucky enough to have a driveway and could have a charging point at home but again at extra capital outlay which I cannot afford along with a large portion of the general public
mmmbbb
21st Nov 2020
2
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Front line care home and hospital staff must be shaking their heads with the possibility of a 5 day Christmas and the subsequent
surge in cases in the New Year, if anyone has had enough it must be them, We certainly have decided to continue without meeting the family, maybe getting sick and putting NHS staff at risk because we were wanting to party.
Wilf
21st Nov 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Yes I agree I think the biggest challenge for the government is going to be the infrastructure and the huge use of electricity at night as millions of us power up our cars. I had a chat with a mate this week and we both said we will get e-cars and like you would do now if they were cheaper. That will happen with competition and I for one look forward to going into London and even our local town and breathing clean air!
Wilf
21st Nov 2020
0
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Lionel-time will tell lets just hope science does manage to conquer the virus in 2021. I think all of us hark back to normal times and certainly in the UK it does not seem to be getting much better even with this lockdown!
MrsPat
19th Nov 2020
10
Thanks for voting!
My old man and myself will be having lunch together. The kids have been told they can see us but will have to stand outside the windows. Our presents for them will be delivered online.
PatL499
19th Nov 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
Only if it safe to do so. If bubbles are allowed we could at least see some family. If the virus is still rampant we may need to continue with lockdown. What could be worse than loosing a family member at this time of year just for the sake of being together for a couple of days.
witch1
19th Nov 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
Keep going with restrictions, perhaps just loosen them for Christmas Day to let 4 or 6 get together, no staying over, it’s one year hopefully by spring things will change, we don’t want to see a lot of people die because of Christmas Celebrations
inversnaid
19th Nov 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
Enjoy your Christmas then funerals in January!
Mosquito
20th Nov 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Indeed! I only have a small family as it is - I wouldn't want to reduce it even further in the New Year.
Lionel
20th Nov 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
It grieves me to say you're right. January could be a very bleak month, but hey ho! didn't we all have a good Christmas, even if it's our last!
Sillysenior
19th Nov 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
So far I have been very fortunate and my family have managed to avoid any infections. However my son is a teacher and there is always a possibility of infection so it would be very irresponsible I think to risk the possibility of passing it on. He still lives with me and his partner so as I don't live alone you may think it's an easy decision. However I have another son who lives an hour away from us who I have only seen once in the last 9 months who I would dearly love to see. my daughter-in-law I've not seen at all since just before lockdown. same with my sister-in-law. Maybe it helps, maybe not but can we afford to risk it? I'm not prepared to test it out and subsequently cause someone to become sick. We can only hope and pray this will all pass soon into a bad dream and life can start to move on again. Stay safe
Wilf
19th Nov 2020
6
Thanks for voting!
I think we should be like the Australians and have total lockdown until this virus is erradicated. Yesterday they had a ball game in Brisbane with a crowd of 55,000 not wearing masks. they are free of it! We are an island as well and we should have been far tougher from day one then we would have normality by now and life would be back to normal-simples!
Meme21
19th Nov 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
Can somebody explain why coronavirus is rife in areas where the lockdown has been largely ignored and how this will differ when people start meeting for Christmas?
viking
19th Nov 2020
3
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Good question Meme, was thinking just that, after seeing what happened in Sweden !!
Meme21
19th Nov 2020
3
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Yes, I agree. I’d like to see all my family too but I actually want to be around when I can do it safely!
ecarg
19th Nov 2020
4
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No break the rules over Christmas and further restrictions will be put in place in January .
Surfer Pete
18th Nov 2020
-7
Thanks for voting!
Yes, a small number of households should be allowed to mix for a few days over Christmas - those that still need to isolate or be extra careful can decide for themselves whether the risk is worth taking.

We will be getting family together regardless of whether Boris and the gang decide we can. I'm not sure how can they stop people who choose to break the rules on Christmas day.
jeanmark
19th Nov 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
Surfer Pete, that is the problem, they can't stop people who choose to break the rules. That is why we still have a problem.

If people decide to do their own thing, that is there choice, but will they remain in isolation for 14 days following Christmas to prevent them infecting anyone else? It only takes one person who is asymptomatic but infectious, to allow the virus to continue spreading.

The rules are to protect us all not just certain individuals.
Lionel
21st Nov 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
Again, well said Jeanmark. A lack of group thinking or shall we say a responsibility to others and be most unpopular, is needed. It's no longer about the individual - the nation has pandered to special interest groups long enough - its about this people as a nation. Either we see this as a war against an unseen enemy and stand together or we die in our tens of thousands.

The problem here is my household is very careful not to court disaster for ourselves or others. But those we may come into contact with, few though they are, may not be so careful. My wife already has MS. A single careless act by someone quite removed from her could ... I'll leave it there, but you see my concern.
jeffsoo
18th Nov 2020
2
Thanks for voting!

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