Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. I’m just offering this view in a totally apolitical manner. We all know, only too well, that this global pandemic has put the cat amongst the pigeons. Chaos was bound to ensue. This has been the case no matter what part of the world people happen to live in. Few have escaped the chaos.
Despite all the horrors, and sadly there have been far too many, I really don’t believe that any of us can realistically point the finger of blame at anyone in particular. We can't even blame any groups from different political persuasions. This shouldn't really be about politics.
We've all ended up in the exact same boat. All of us are dealing with this situation as best we can. This is a virus that no one had ever faced before. We've had to hit the ground running. Everyone who can do anything really have been doing all in their power in order to protect precious lives.
We're still trying to navigate a pathway towards some semblance of normality. To date no one seems to have the absolute right solution nor has there yet been a silver bullet. But science is always moving forward. The new tools that might eventually help tame COVID-19 may well help us to deal with future outbreaks too. What's being learned today will be invaluable when dealing with disease prevention in future years.
Medical science has been on a pretty serious war footing against COVID-19 and many very important lessons are actually learned in the field of battle. Sometimes it becomes a case of 'what have we got to lose' in such dire situations. Doing nothing being the non option.
Most of us are very grateful for the success of various immunisation programmes which have now taken place globally. Whatever our individual views are in respect of 'the jab', there's very little doubt that vaccines have helped save countless lives along with the development and administering of other medications and treatments. Collectively they have all helped to render COVID-19 somewhat less potent and a whole lot more survivable than it was in the early stages of this pandemic - even for those who have been unfortunate enough to succumb to its more chronic ravages. But we mustn't get too complacent.
In a nutshell, every country is trying something just a little bit different from the next one. Hopefully someone, somewhere will eventually find a solution that actually pays the ultimate dividend. That is, to defeat this invisible foe.
So. It's good to compare notes and evaluate the successes (and failures) of other countries as part of an overall learning curve. The truth is, this is very clearly a global problem which really does require a sustained global solution however difficult this might prove to be logistically. There's very little point extinguishing the main fire and leaving a patch of smouldering embers that might once again be fanned into another raging outbreak.
We can't logically leave anyone behind in this war against the virus. It's in all our best interests to tackle this disease wherever it occurs and thereby halt the spread. Surely all relevant authorities should be working in unison towards this goal?
The pandemic has already demonstrated that one country's success in halting the spread of the disease ‘today’ is only potentially stoking up opportunities for swift viral spread in that same country ‘tomorrow’. It has also proved difficult to contain this disease within borders. Immunity, however it's achieved, must therefore be key.
No single country can really pat themselves on the back over how they've dealt with COVID-19. In the early days, both Portugal and Sweden were universally hailed as magnificent success stories by the way they had initially managed the pandemic, only later on to emerge as being statistically amidst the hardest hit.
Suppressing the spread of the virus really is like keeping wildfires quashed for a few successive years. But all the while, we are nervously aware that nature is silently conspiring to stoke up more and more tinder dry brush, ready for the next blaze to consume. Only a scorched landscape, bearing the scars, has any real degree of immunity from a future blaze.
I certainly wouldn’t like to be an accountable government minister at times like these. They seem damned if they do and equally damned if they don’t. Trying to guard public health whilst also attempting to nurture respective economies has been one heck of a task. The whole process of locking down a population is so utterly counter intuitive in any modern western economy. But what else could be done during a pandemic, especially when no vaccines were available?
In all this melee, I have seen the Yin and the Yan. I've seen the devastating consequences that travel restrictions have had on businesses in Portugal, Spain and the UK. But equally, where I live in North Wales has witnessed a holiday industry boom like no other. Suddenly North Wales with it's wide open spaces and magnificent scenery has become the Number-1 UK holiday 'staycation' hot-spot. But this hasn't pleased everyone. It's brought additional road traffic and large crowds. General over tourism has led to litter, anti-social behaviour and has also unwittingly created an unpleasant living environment for many local residents who simply haven't been accustomed to dealing with such a large influx of tourists.
There seem to be numerous factors at play, all of which are encouraging tourists of the future to consider their options.
Increasingly severe summer heatwaves with soaring temperatures are putting some people off heading off to southern Europe at the height of summer. Many have seen graphic footage of devastating fires which recently swept through Greece, Turkey and Italy. The constant media narrative about such climate catastrophies is genuinely frightening to a lot of people.
Many, more vulnerable, travellers still remain fearful of crowded airports and packed airliners in these ongoing COVID-19 times.
The other big bogey men are all the different rules in different territories and the considerable task of keeping abreast of them.
There are an awful lot of people with burned fingers out there. Families who may have already had numerous trips curtailed with little by way of warning. They faced a choice of paying for very expensive early return airline tickets to beat 'red list' quarantine or otherwise paying £2,225 per person to isolate in a grubby quarantine hotel, probably annexed to a charming British industrial estate.
Add all of this to the confused, often inefficient and frequently expensive requirements for pre and post-travel PCR or lateral flow tests and it's quite easy to see how appetites for visiting sunny shores have been greatly diminished.
Hopefully habits will only be changed in the short term and far happier times lie ahead?