The news is full of stories this week of the UK Government approving the Pfizer vaccine and who will be first to be offered the jabs and how the vaccine will be rolled out and, rightly so, people are more optimistic about the ending of lockdown and a return to some form of normality.
The vaccine is given in two doses – three weeks apart – and offers up to 95% protection against Covid-19. So it is reasonable to assume that the first people after front line NHS hospital staff and patients to get the jabs, will be residents in care homes for older adults and their carers, and that they will have immunity sometime from early 2021. That’s if we believe the time frame being discussed by the Government. This may take longer than anticipated. The rollout will then continue by age group from 80 years and over, down to the over 50’s in five-year age gaps.
The vaccine is truly great news, but the reality is it is going to take many months, with several vaccines, to immunise everyone over 50, and then there is the rest of the population.
So let’s be realistic and accept the fact that most of us will not have immunity for the large part of 2021 and that the evidence suggests continued strict lockdown until at least March 2021. This is evidenced by the fact Government supports to businesses, such as the Furlough scheme, have been extended to this date.
For many business owners, 2020 has been the worst of the worst years, and the UK economy is expected to shrink by 11.3% this year and not return to its pre-Covid size until the end of 2022. Government borrowing will rise to its highest outside of wartime to deal with the economic impact.
That said, we have been amazed at the resilience of clients and how they have energetically repurposed or pivoted their businesses into new areas, products and services. Businesses have redesigned delivery and payment systems, moved their entire processes digital, accepted remote working or new safe working environments and adopted to new technologies to survive and indeed prosper in this Covid-19 era.
Clients have demonstrated to us how we can all readily adapt to a change in circumstances and have given us inspiration and optimism for the future. We believe that by this time next year we will be back to where we want to be and more of our daily lives will resemble some kind of normality again.
Do not give in to the virus, stay strong, be resilient and together we will move forward.