As we inch closer to the re-opening of the bars, restaurants and shops that help to make The Heatons a great place to live and work, I hope that we really are experiencing the beginning of the end of lockdown and that this time it will be for good.
There are many things that we will be glad to see the back of, but I hope that the increased support and caring we’ve shown for each other won’t be one of them. It’s no surprise that our community rallied and supported local traders and retailers where it could, encouraged and co-ordinated street WhatsApp groups and foodbank collections, organised themed trails and that Heaton Moor Golf Club shared its grounds with us. It was all very welcome and the people of The Heatons do seem to have gone above and beyond to help each other out. However, as we approach the end, the mood seems to be a mixture of excitement and a degree of being just fed up. The built up stress of the past year appears to be seeping out and the level of patience, kindness and respect we were showing each other seems to be dipping just a little. When we consider what so many people have lost during the pandemic, it would be a real shame to lose that small silver-lining of boosted community spirit right at the last hurdle.
Hang on, we’re nearly out of this. It’s certainly not my place to preach, but please joggers continue to give people space, dog walkers continue to pick up your dog mess, shoppers continue to support your local retailers if possible and all of us keep looking out for each other. This is a wonderful place to be and Covid hasn’t dimmed that – on the contrary is has emphasised the very best in our community. Everyone is struggling, some much more than others, but an increase in ‘shop local’ behaviour and a heightened sense of neighbourliness, would be a wonderful positive achievement out of a terrible situation.