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LATEST NEWS: COVID CONFUSION

 

 

The Prime Minister’s much-heralded broadcast on Sunday 10th May was meant to bring clarity, not confusion. While it is true that Boris Johnson spoke positively and with a certain amount of authority, many listeners afterwards were left wondering what he had actually said. Political commentators were right when they said his speech had raised more questions than answers. In the hours following when there were opportunities to raise specific matters with the Prime Minister, those who listened were soon aware that enlightening questions were not getting the answers which were sought. In one sense the Prime Minister cannot be blamed for he is advancing into uncharted territory like the rest of us. This pandemic is far wider-reaching than any other this planet has known.

 

 

 

For weeks the Football Association has been paralyzed by the dilemma it faces. Will the season’s remaining Premier League matches be played, or will the season be null and void. Huge sums of money are at stake, with no matches having been played for two months. Liverpool’s form had been outstanding, and the team would soon have been crowned as champions – perhaps setting a new record number of points. It would be bitterly disappointing for Liverpool not to be title-winners. Teams at the foot of the table might be far more willing to see the season written off as it would preserve their status for another year, but promotion hopefuls from the Championship would raise vociferous protests if they were prevented from entering the Premier League for another year. For how long can we wait? Already decisions have been postponed. It has been suggested that the remaining fixtures will be played in June at neutral venues behind closed doors, but this idea has been greeted with wails of protest. Some clubs will feel disadvantaged not to be playing at home. The outcome of such a “season” is bound to be loaded with controversy – and perhaps with legal challenges. While “social distancing” remains, how can any close-contact sport be safe? Before the matches even commence, how can the players train? The “sharpness” of the earlier part of the season will have set a much higher standard than what is bound to be the anti-climax of the remaining matches. In addition to all this, how can the 2020-21 season start at its usual time? The complexities are immense – and all that is without saying anything about players’ contracts!

 

 

 

Leisure activities have also taken a hammering from Covid-19. In mid-May TUI revealed a loss for the year so far of £747m and reported that cash was draining away at £220m a month. Such amounts are staggering. The company has announced redundancies and restructuring measures with plans to streamline to a more efficient operation, but will government loans with conditions attached bring the company through? How long will it take before losses become profits – and how long will it be before the company generates such profits as will be able to negate these enormous losses? The future of Virgin Atlantic is in the balance. EasyJet has spoken of trimming its fleet – though agreement within the company’s board has not been reached. Holidays abroad for UK citizens are looking less likely for 2020. A few weeks ago we were told that a vaccine would take between a year and eighteen months, but the World Health Organization has now informed us that a successful vaccine may never be found. Uncertainty and confusion abound. The economic repercussions of Covid-19 will be with us for a very long time to come. In fact, the world may never return to what it was before the pandemic. The outlook is certainly bleak. There are few signs of hope. Social-distancing measures may remain in place for the rest of the year. Face-masks could become an integral part of our dress code. Travel to other countries is likely to become a lot more expensive – and Covid-19 will not be covered by travel insurance.

 

 

About 200 years ago the Lord Jesus Christ spoke of the days before His return. He referred to “wars and rumours of wars … famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes” which are “the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:6-8). Worse things are to follow. But Jesus is coming again! When He returns from heaven (at any time) those who are saved will be caught up to meet Him in the air; the rest will be left behind. We need to be ready by turning from our sin and trusting in His atoning death upon the cross. Only the Lord Jesus can save us from the worse things which are to fall upon this world.