It would be something of an understatement to say that Covid19 has changed our lives.
There have been global pandemics before but never one so readily facilitated by the speed and ease of modern travel. Few could have foreseen how rapid and dramatic the impact, albeit arguably some did.
Judgement is always easier with hindsight and it’s neither our job nor expertise to judge the UK’s Covid policy. Hindsight does though indicate that those countries better controlling the epidemic’s spread, have been the ones who most quickly and effectively isolated themselves from cross border travel before it took hold, New Zealand being an obvious example.
(New Zealand of course do have the advantages of being an island, whereas the UK…. oh, hang on).
These countries have achieved a level of normality others can only envy. Cafes, restaurants, shops and leisure facilities open, domestic businesses trading normally, whilst the populace play and attend sports, holidaying safely within their own borders.
Vitally of course, the strain on their health service is minimalised, whilst schools, central to any return to normalcy, remain open.
Without the benefit of this early control, the rest of us have been left to largely kick the Covid can down the road, stumbling from one lockdown to the next. Our battleground now shifts to the speed of our vaccination regime versus the alcrity with which the coronavirus might mutate to reduce latest vaccine effectiveness
Chances are we face a new reality of annual vaccination to deal with an evolving virus, much as we do to counter influenza.
We cannot ignore that there remain health and economic challenges ahead, whatever policy we choose to deal with the virus and its ramifications
Either way, as a business that exists heavily in the education market and is founded on sustainability principles to better protect our environment, we hope that the future shapes itself around two core principles:
1) That in ‘a pandemic economy’ which relies heavily on schools and colleges remaining open to enable so much else to continue, staff are given deserved respect and fair vaccine priority.
2) That we do not allow a repeat of the 2008 crash when environmental goals were subsumed to economic ones. We cannot allow the revitalised progress of recent years to be undermined. Eventually, economies recover and pandemics disappear. For our planet, its delicate ecosystem and its many vulnerable species, there may be no such second chance.
So, let’s keep working towards eliminating single use plastic please, re-using and re-filling wherever possible. Keeping our planet safe, as well as ourselves.