By Dr Wirin Bhatiani
Lots of us have had our summer disrupted by coronavirus.
You may have had to cancel a long-anticipated holiday abroad, or a trip to family and friends, in favour of a “staycation”.
While Bolton may not have beaches for people to flock to, it is blessed with many beautiful parks and open spaces. These are popular with people of all ages and it is all too easy when visiting them to forget about Covid – especially when the sun is shining!
But coronavirus hasn’t gone on holiday either - which is why more stringent restrictions were introduced in Greater Manchester on July 31 to deal with rising infection rates.
In many cases, the virus is being spread when families get together – when it is understandably all too easy to relax and let social distancing slip.
The regulations mean that we cannot meet with people we do not live with in private homes and gardens, or in indoor public venues such as pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues, and visitor attractions.
We also cannot visit our loved ones in care homes, other than in exceptional circumstances.
I understand that this will have come as a disappointment to many people, particularly those who were planning to visit relatives who had been shielding or those in care.
The restrictions also disrupted the plans of those who celebrate Eid, and have had an impact on other family events such as weddings and birthdays.
But we need to be patient, and follow the restrictions for a while longer – the last thing we want is another total lockdown.
Remember, we can still meet friends and family in public outdoor spaces as long as we follow social distancing guidance.
For more information, see https://www.gov.uk/guidance/north-west-of-england-local-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do.