President's Message - December 2020
I am writing this column on the morning that the MHRA has given its approval to the first vaccine for Covid-19, bringing hope that next year we will be able to fully reconnect, in person, with friends, family and colleagues.
While greater online interaction has brought about new opportunities, we all miss the opportunity to get together face to face. But hopefully by Spring 2021 we’ll be able to do just that.
I hesitate to use the phrase ‘return to normal’ as I think the past few months have taught us that some things can and perhaps should be done differently. I came across an unattributed quote: “there can be no return to normal because normal was the problem to begin with.” The pandemic has made us appreciate other ways of working and communicating and highlighted the value of quality of life and of social equity. Is it too much to hope that this experience will encourage us to become a more tolerant, compassionate and considerate society?
The only certainty about this year has been the uncertainty, and we still have the full impact of Brexit to assess. With this week’s news in the retail sector and with unemployment likely to increase, particularly as government support schemes come to an end, the road ahead is still a rocky one. But while we may not find ourselves on the quickest or most scenic route to economic recovery, with the first vaccines now being rolled out, perhaps we can start planning with greater confidence.
Notwithstanding all that 2020 has thrown at us, and acknowledging the challenges that lie ahead, representing you has continued to be a pleasure and a privilege. The Directors, Staff and I will continue to do all we can to support our members, helping you to thrive and grow.
I wish you all, of every faith and of none, a peaceful and happy festive season and I look forward to a healthier 2021 for us all.