MP COLUMN: Young adults should be uppermost in our thoughts during pandemic recovery
My dear husband, Ray, died in April and I took some bereavement leave to begin to recover and do the paperwork.
Gateshead MP Ian Mearns kindly told the Commons that Ray was a long-standing North Tyneside councillor, a fellow Newcastle fan, and a thoroughly lovely man.
Ray was in charge of council finances and was working until almost the end. He had a strong sense of public duty.
Ray had terminal cancer but death came much more suddenly than we expected. I saw at first hand how the health service handled the end of life, which was complicated by the impact of Covid on the NHS and I will pick this up in general terms in the future.
There are always lessons to learn so we can constantly improve our services.
Life must go on, however. I have now had my second jab and will soon enjoy fuller protection from Covid. It’s also not long before we find out whether lockdown will end on June 21 or be extended a little.
I feel very strongly that those nearer the beginning of their lives – young adults – should be uppermost in our thoughts and actions. They have been waiting patiently while the rest of us had our jabs. This made sense as they are far less likely to be hospitalised or die.
But the vaccines will allow many younger people to take their careers and friendships off hold. That’s why they recently flocked in their thousands to the rugby stadium at Twickenham. It illustrates a much wider desire to get stuck into life once more.
Covid will not entirely disappear from the scene but I am sure we all look forward to the day we don’t have to hear about it all the time on the news and can focus on how the country recovers from the crisis.
My own personal life will now inevitably be very different without Ray. We talked about this before he died.
He certainly wanted me to carry on with the political commitments we shared for many good years. And I am still eager to do my bit for North Tyneside and reforming society for the common good and as we rebuild our collective lives after the pandemic.