'Real cost of this Christmas may be lives as we face season of tough choices'

Now comes the hardest ­decision of all.

The approach of Christmas is focusing minds on whether to follow the heart or the head.

We all want to be with our loved ones at this time of the year.

Yet the increasingly stark advice from scientists is not to put your elderly relatives at risk if you want to see them next festive season.

Covid doesn’t know it’s that special time of year. Unless we stick to extraordinary measures to beat it, the virus will not let up.

It is going to be the season of tough choices.

The scientific view – from both the Government advisers and independent experts – is we should self-isolate for 10-12 days if we want to visit grandparents over the officially designated five days of Christmas.

Professor Chris Whitty has advised against hugging your elderly relatives (stock image)

Time off work, children taken out of school, no shopping for presents, no going out.

It’s a lot to ask for possibly just one day with a loved one.

But what of the gran or grandad in a care home, or possibly sick or alone at home?

For those who have suffered the loss so much human comfort already, Christmas Day will have a more profoundly emotional significance this year.

For some, it may be their last.

The only right thing to do is what feels safest, whether it’s isolation or the higher risk of just wearing a mask.

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For Christmas, it’s a horrible, scary balance of odds, a choice nobody wants to make.

Let’s just remember, if you want them to survive to be hugged again next year, just be very careful. Because lives may depend on how we act.

A slap in the face

Rishi Sunak

Hard-pressed public service workers have been given their reward for risking their lives to help get the country through the coronavirus pandemic.

A firm slap in the face in the form of a pay freeze from super-rich Scrooge Chancellor Rishi Sunak for three million vital workers – teachers, firefighters, cares and refuse collectors.

As we show today, they were already £2,500 a year worse off due to Tory cuts since 2010.

Welcome back to austerity. For some, it has never gone away.



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