At last, the summer holiday season is upon us.

It is normally a time to wind down a little and enjoy catching up with friends and family. Don’t we just need this after 18 long months?

But as we adjust to soaring temperatures, we are also noting the soaring Covid19 infection rates too.

Just when we thought we understood the rules, they have all been torn up, and now we are left with so much uncertainty.

The ‘pingdemic’ from the NHS Covid19 App coupled with this Covid19 spike is closing down services, businesses, schools and it feels like we are zooming back into a lockdown.

To stop infection transmission, we all know we must cover our faces so aerosol droplets don’t get passed onto others, and we must keep our distance - two meters is best.

If we shout or sing or sneeze or cough, we know that infection can travel further.

And as with all good public health advice we should always maintain high hygiene standards and wash or sanitise our hands. So let’s keep going with HANDS-FACE-SPACE because it makes a real difference.

If we have any symptoms, we must get a test, and if told to isolate, we must stay home (except the Prime Minister who feels he can tell us all what to do and do whatever he likes himself).

As we are being told there are no rules, apart from where there are rules, and we can do as we please, apart from this having a significant impact on others, the confusion is just adding to the poor pandemic management by this Government.

Leaders the world over cannot comprehend why the UK is doing this.

Judging from my correspondence, most people want the public health measures to continue.

We must remember that 40 per cent of adults in York are yet to be ‘double jabbed’, people are still really poorly.

If you haven’t been jabbed yet, please book on and ‘grab a jab’ or at least talk to a clinician about your concerns.

Meanwhile, it seems many people are now frightened about the impact that these new ‘freedoms’ will have on them, and rather than being free, they are having to hide away, as risk will increase.

Those with underlying health conditions feel particularly vulnerable.

It would therefore seem that ‘freedom day’ is all about giving Covid19 freedom while taking ours.

Scientists are saying that we will not start to understand the impact of removing restrictions for another three weeks, by which time we expect hundreds of thousands to get Covid19 and several hundred people to die. This is tragic.

No one can comprehend why the Government have plunged into this ‘herd immunity’.

Who knows if a new variant is on its way? The more cases, the more opportunity there is for a mutation – not just risking us here in the UK, but risking a world that rightly wants to lock down the pandemic, not spread it.

It is worse than incompetence.

With more people catching Covid19, and less seriously ill due to the vaccine, it is now shifting demand onto GPs, already completely overwhelmed.

Spare a thought for your GPs, practice nurses and those trying to squeeze in far more appointments than there are hours in the day.

Over the last few weeks, demand on GPs has rocketed.

With a significant shortage of GPs and the second lowest ratio of GPs to patients of all the OECD countries, demand has exceeded all previous levels by at least 15 per cent in York.

In addition to Covid19 and Long Covid, people are catching up with significant ill health matters, and GPs are also seeing many of the 5.3m people waiting for hospital appointments needing support too.

Demand for mental health care is also extremely high.

GPs and other community clinicians want to see you and share your frustration.

They couldn’t be trying harder, working longer and more under pressure. I know you will understand.

We are now paying a heavy price for the Government’s cuts on our front line; austerity and cuts; mismanagement of the pandemic, and failure to invest in health and fix social care.

I trust you will join me in hoping GPs and their staff will now get some time to wind down a little and enjoy catching up with friends and family as the summer holiday season is upon us, before a punishing winter season begins. Don’t they just need this after 18 long months?