THIS is my 18th Christmas editorial, and also the last one before we head into a new year. It has been a year like no other.
I certainly do not need to remind you of the challenges that the past 10 months have put our way. The world changed and we faced unprecedented problems. Generations before us have had even greater challenges, and come through. We will do so too.
The time ahead brings with it hope in the shape of vaccines, but there will be no overnight change for the better and there are still mountains to climb. While this may be daunting, we collectively need to remain positive. Some will manage this better than others, and it is incumbent on the strong to bring others with them.
Throughout this year our fortnightly, and for a period of time weekly, health columns have been trying, and hopefully succeeding, to help readers deal with the stresses and pressures of living in these surreal times. We know from feedback that the messages are being heard.
Christmas, even in these unusual days, remains a time of joy and celebration, of hope and renewal, of rest and contemplation. For most, Christmas 2020 will be just that, even with restrictions on our movements and behaviour. However, it will be otherwise for some. For them it is a time when the loss of loved ones is felt acutely, and this can be overwhelming for people.
Our health column offers some pointers to help navigate Christmas. It is not just for those who may be feeling down or snowed under by all that is happening.
Rather, it is a call for those of you in a positon to do so to reach out and offer a hand, an ear or some time to a loved one, family member or friend who needs a little comfort and succour.
This week we welcome Randox as a partner in the lead up to the 2021 Aintree Grand National, and I am struck by the words of the company’s founder, Dr Peter Fitzgerald.
He says that Covid has taught us to appreciate the important things in life – our friends, our family, and our health. He may not be saying anything new, but human nature is such that we need to remind ourselves of this fact every now and again.
Like everyone, I have found the past year very difficult at times, but I keep reminding myself that there are better days ahead. It is my greatest wish for you all that you have peace and health this festive time. Take care of yourself and those around you.