As we may all have expected the beginning of 2022 has been dominated by the latest variant of COVID-19 – Omicron.
But we should remember there is much to be proud of in our fight against this virus.
And thank goodness, there are early signs that we may be passing the peak in London, and that its damage in health terms may not be as great as we had initially feared.
We are urging the Government to look closely at the data, and we must all remain vigilant.
Despite a record number of infections, the Prime Minister has said there will be no new restrictions for now.
But we know that two doses of the vaccine are not enough to protect us fully against Omicron, which spreads faster than any variant we have seen before.
That is why we must all get boosted.
As for the economic damage inflicted upon those customer-facing businesses in the Square Mile, we know the change to the work from home guidance has been devastating – just when they were beginning to get back up on their feet, they lost those vital office workers again.
This change has also been really disappointing for those office workers who had just begun to enjoy the advantages of collegiality, community and coming together for creativity.
As it is clear this virus has not yet gone, let us look carefully at the data for ways to coexist with it, which enable people to conduct their daily lives without yet another repeat of this ‘stop and start’ guidance.
About a third of Londoners remain unvaccinated and we must continue to make it as easy as possible to get the jab whilst addressing their concerns.
All adults can get their booster three months after their second jab. And children aged 12 to 15 are eligible for a second dose of the vaccine.
There are several sites in and around the City of London to get your jabs and they all now offer both walk-in and booked appointments for people aged 16 and over.
The Square Mile’s dedicated vaccination centre is at 120 Fleet Street, and you can also attend a new site at Sai Pharmacy, 19 Stable Walk on the City/Tower Hamlets border.
A mobile vaccination unit will also be stationed outside Liverpool Street Station this Friday (January 14) from 9.30am-6.30pm.
There are also many walk-in centres close to the Square Mile which you can find on the NHS website.
It is not too late to get your first or second jab either. The more people get vaccinated the more we can protect – and the closer we get to returning our businesses to normal.
London is crucial to the national economy, and we need to keep it healthy if we are to maximise its contribution to the rest of the UK.
And getting people safely back into offices is the best way to secure a long-term future for many of those businesses that rely on footfall.
So, let’s get vaccinated, test regularly, wear a face covering in enclosed spaces, let fresh air indoors and wash or sanitise our hands frequently.
If we follow this guidance, we will help to not only support the NHS, but it will also help us continue our daily lives as normally as we can and support those businesses who so badly need it.
Now is the time for all of us living, working, or socialising in the City, to redouble our efforts to stop the spread of this virus and reduce the disruption it continues to cause.