Covid Christmas bubbles and the safety of solitude

Letters
·3-min read
<span>Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

It is obvious that the planned yuletide relaxation of Covid rules (Five days of Christmas UK Covid plan lets three households mix, 24 November) will lead to a viral spike and the inevitable associated deaths or long-term harmful effects. If the effect is worse than currently predicted, more economic and social damage will be done and the crisis will be prolonged. Other factors such as weather or flu epidemics could exacerbate this situation.

Why not postpone Christmas? Our antipodean friends enjoy an annual midsummer Christmas. By May or June we should be enjoying the benefits of the vaccination programme. A lot more of the celebration could hopefully take place out of doors. This would give us something positive to look forward to, a full family gathering and, hopefully, a celebration of the gradual demise of Covid.

The current proposal is fraught with dangers and challenges. Even if allowed, should I spend a lot of time in another household? There will probably be restrictions, in some areas at least, on pub opening hours in the run-up to Christmas. Further local lockdowns are possible. For many it will be a time of worry, not rejoicing.

Christians can of course continue to celebrate the day in its true meaning. People of other faiths and cultures could then fully join in what has in any case become an overwhelmingly secular event. The reindeer will need wheeled carts rather than sledges, but with climate change this transition was already under way.
Joe Cocker
Leominster, Herefordshire

• How generous of the Scottish, Welsh, Northern Ireland and English governments to allow us to mix in three households between 23 December and 27 December. Only one problem: there are no trains operating north or south into or out of London King’s Cross between 25 and 30 December, so how are people going to get back to London from Peterborough and Scotland?
Brian Keegan
Peterborough

• I remember those Christmases past when the media featured festive stories about family strife, travel horrors, arguments, overindulgence, unwanted presents, slaving over a hot stove, and hours in front of screens. At least Covid Christmas will give many people the opportunity to make their “personal judgment” but have the cast-iron excuse for their chosen bubble. I for one will spend my Christmas in blissful solitude and not feel guilty at all.
Sam White
Lewes, East Sussex

• Boris Johnson has neatly sidestepped the bad PR he would have received had he been responsible for cancelling Christmas. And if people die as a consequence then it will be blamed on the households “bubbling” together risking each other’s health, rather than anything to do with Johnson.
Gary Bennett
Exeter

• In view of the relaxation of distancing rules, do the public need reminding that a granny is not just for Christmas?
Mike Schilling
Manchester

• So the government is allowing up to three households to meet over the festive period. That will be a Christmas bauble, then.
Maggie D’Araujo
Blackpool