The residents of England are going to be free, apparently, on 19 July, when the Covid-induced lockdown ends. It is a calculated yet huge gamble on the part of the Government, given the marked increase in the number of new cases. Many people have been vaccinated. Hospital admissions and deaths have not climbed up as steeply as before, and hopefully they will not increase substantially from now onwards, but the figures and trends now look quite ominous. Getting the balance and timing right between restrictions and opening up is no easy task and fraught with dangers. I do not envy those who have to make that call, politically and scientifically, knowing that wrong decisions will result in many deaths.

After 19 July, the onus will be on individuals to make their own mind up as to how much risk they are willing to entertain. I had the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine on 7 July, so I will be deemed fully vaccinated on 21 July. As far as I know, I do not have underlying health conditions, and I am not that old to be considered a high-risk group. The chances are that I will be fine, even if the vaccine is not 100% effective and I contract the virus. However, I don’t want to be a conduit for the virus either. As such, I am not going to rush to the nearest full pub exclaiming freeeeedom!! I have not decided how much risk I will tolerate come 19 July. Having been quite careful for such a long time, it would be rather silly to throw caution to the wind, and I feel the best policy is not to catch the virus, but I do want to meet up with people and move around a bit using public transport.

I will wait until the end of the month. If the outlook proves to be good, then I will be taking more risks, cautiously and progressively. If the situation does not look promising, then I will continue to do what I have been doing over the past year and a half, that is say staying at home most of the time, though I am not sure how much longer my sanity can take it.