IT’S over two years now since we were first informed there was a new virus on the horizon. Little were we to know at the time it would impact the UK quite as much as it did and that we would still be reeling from the effects into 2022.

Thankfully, we have come on leaps and bounds in the last two years. Medical science has found ways to treat those who become very ill with Covid and there are vaccines which are helping to stop people from becoming very ill.

We do hope that either the virus and its variants become so weak that they are no more serious than the common cold, or that it goes completely. We would need a crystal ball for that, I suspect.

But what we can do is continue to help support businesses within Craven which have struggled so badly through lockdowns, the threat of lockdown and simply a reluctance of people to socialise.

We may have to wear masks in enclosed spaces in public for a while yet, but it is a small price to pay to reassure those closest to us. And we have to respect those who choose not to be vaccinated as a matter of personal choice.

When it comes down to shopping, even many small businesses offer an online service so instead of heading to the global retailers, think local wherever you can. For perhaps a little more in cost, you benefit from quality in most circumstances.

This new year coming, resolve to look out for your neighbours and those who have fledgling businesses who just ask for a little local support to keep afloat.