Viewers of Voices from Oxford will have seen our series of posts on face masks (links below). These have helped to create the accepted opinion that they greatly reduce the spread of the virus. Government U-turns on the issue almost certainly depended on that shift of acceptance by the public.
But what do you see when you walk about towns and shopping centres? Many people are still not taking the issue seriously. That is particularly worrying for a city like Oxford with the students at its two universities and many further education colleges and schools returning to the city in large numbers.
The threat of a local lockdown is now on amber alert because of an increase in cases:
It could easily trigger a further lockdown.
The universities are taking careful precautions in maintaining social distancing during teaching and supervisions. The real risk lies in social meetings of students. We have to hope that students will follow the mask and social distancing rules. You may not think, as a young person, that the risk is great. The larger risk is as a spreader. You could exacerbate the risks for older people.
Meanwhile, progress on the Oxford Vaccine is developing well with trials being planned with up to 50,000 participants worldwide:
But remember that, even if these trials are successful, a vaccine will take many months to become available to the public.
This post is part of a VOX series on the Coronavirus pandemic:
Approaching the hour of darkness
Nipping an epidemic in the bud
Reminder: to support the Vaccine Project in Oxford University: https://www.development.ox.ac.uk/make-a-gift/coronavirus-research-fund