Welcome from Richard Flinton, Chief Executive

2020 will be remembered for many reasons – a large number of which we would probably rather forget. It is certainly a year in which we have had to stay focussed on many critical, but changing, circumstances and messages. Often these messages could be quite literally a matter of life or death for some and the last 48 hours are no exception. Over the weekend, we saw the relaxation of the rules over Christmas tightened again, we learned a little more about the new strain of the Coronavirus and its rapid growth. Sadly, we also saw infection rates in some areas of North Yorkshire growing in a very worrying way once again. Many of us no doubt found ourselves trying to digest what it all means for us as individuals once more and I know lots of you will be wrestling with what to do for the best over the festive season. It’s true there are many rules, a lot of guidance and much advice – but the basics remain every bit as important today as they did in March – hands, face, space and let fresh air in. They may be simple, but they are extremely effective in containing the virus and this Christmas it is more important than ever that we make the right choices about who we see and how close we get. Whatever the strain, we know covid thrives indoors and spreads between us most virulently when we let our guard down – when we get too close. So whatever your plans are for the Christmas Day window please, don’t accidentally give the virus a free pass. Not having symptoms doesn’t mean you aren’t carrying it, or that you can’t spread it, or accidentally harm someone you love by passing it to them unknowingly.

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