You will all be very aware of the decision last week to put all of Greater Manchester – along with parts of east Lancashire and West Yorkshire – into a form of local lockdown. I know that many of you will be disappointed that you’re going to have to cancel plans and that it will be more difficult to see friends and family. I certainly am.


However, there is a very good reason for this step. It may have been communicated appallingly by the Government – announced on Twitter at quarter past 9 on a Thursday night – but the decision is based on data about the spread of the virus.


Whilst the easing of lockdown has made it feel to many that Coronavirus has gone, this just isn’t the case. The months of lockdown were difficult for all of us – and particularly difficult for some – but they were successful in stopping the spread of the virus. We all know that it spreads through social contact; as social contact increases, so does the virus.


So, as disappointing as it is that we will no longer be able to visit friends and family, it is really important that we follow these new guidelines. If we ignore the local lockdown, there’s a very good chance that we’ll see a spike in cases right here in Greater Manchester. This would mean more people contracting Coronavirus and more people dying, and this is something we should all be working together to avoid. It would also inevitably mean harsher lockdown measures, returning us to the days of only leaving the house once.


Regular readers will know that I’ve been suffering for the past 18 weeks from Long Covid. Whilst I’ve recovered from the virus itself, I’m experiencing a debilitating post-viral fatigue, accompanied by dizziness, sweats and brain fog. And it’s not just me – thousands across Britain are going through the same thing and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. We need to take this virus seriously.


So to stop the virus from spreading, save lives and avoid an even harsher lockdown, please take extra special care when going about daily tasks like shopping, eating out or going to the pub. The guidance for our city-region is there to keep us safe and to stop the exponential steep rise early. As difficult and frustrating as it is – particularly when you have friends and family elsewhere who are not in lockdown – please follow the guidance and stay safe.

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