Hopes that Wednesday would be seen as “Freedom Day” for much of England were dashed.
The Government ushered in restrictions meaning it will be “as you were” for many of us.
A new, clear and present danger has emerged – that the reworked tiers will be as damaging and morale-sapping as the cold, dead hand of the lockdown that started a month ago.
I relished challenging Cabinet ministers over the absurdities of the lockdown on my radio show. How come you were able to sleep with your wife, husband or partner but not play tennis with them?
You could go for a long walk with someone in your “bubble” but not play golf with them…
Boris Johnson declared it was not time to “let the virus rip!”
But no-one has ever suggested that.
Rather, we have to try to balance the risk with the need for the wheels of the economy to be allowed to turn as much as possible.
It has taken too long for the penny to drop about how badly our daily life has been disrupted.
For instance, why close fitness studios, gyms and swimming pools – all of which can reopen next week – when a fit person is far less likely to contract Covid and is more likely to survive if they do fall victim?
Similarly, there is no evidence anyone has ever contracted the virus at a hair salon.
As the PM talks of a “hard winter” and experts seem to concur that we’re stuck with this until Easter, they must realise the restrictions they enjoy hurling around like confetti must be backed up with plausible data.
How come next week in London I am permitted to sit with up to 999 other people in an inside venue, but I can’t go for a meal with any of them afterwards unless we live together or share a bubble?
And I can go to church, but I can’t take part in a carol concert. Why does the rule of six remain so strict in some areas, even outdoors?
It would also seem reasonable to expect to be told what evidence is used to move an area from one tier to another, and precisely how closing down a tea shop in Hastings helps to control and beat down the virus in Hull?
The PM must “show his workings”, display logic and use pragmatism if he is to replace confusion with confidence.
Simply saying “we follow the science” will no longer suffice.