BUREAUCRACY, the harsh reality of life in lockdown and drawing a line in the sand were the issues raised by columnists and contributors in the newspapers.

The Daily Mail

Dominic Lawson said the distribution of the vaccine needs to be treated as a national emergency with nothing allowed to delay the roll-out.

“[Volunteers] are still required to have 15 documents of certification, including ‘Safeguarding children, Level 2’,” he said. “What possible point is that when it is the vulnerable elderly who need to be vaccinated with all speed? And why were these absurd bureaucratic hurdles not removed in advance, rather than requiring ministerial direction following cries of frustration by volunteers.”

He said analogies with World War II and the ‘Dunkirk spirit’ could be overdone, but it is entirely appropriate in this context to invoke the ‘little ships of Dunkirk’ - GP surgeries.

“Every unnecessary bureaucratic delay, however well-motivated by ‘best practice’, comes at a continuing cost in lives to Covid-19. Haven’t we lost enough, already?”

The Daily Express

Keelan Laforge remembers Piers Morgan’s ‘rant’ about lockdown - telling people who refused to stick tot he rules that all they had to do was ‘stay home and watch television’ and is still angry about it.

Not because she disagrees with the principle, she said -” standing a metre or two further away from the soul waiting next to you in the post office queue costs you nothing” - but she is a single parent, attempting to home school and continue working.

“With the strain of two kids in tow, and an illness to boot, it isn’t that simple,” she said. “If all I had to do was watch the telly, I’d probably be suffering from mind-numbing boredom, but life would be tranquil. We might not be physically fighting in a war, but I, like many others, am doing mental battle to get through each day of this era.”

The Guardian

Nesrine Malik said we were now in the fourth season of Covid, one in which the national mood was one of profound sadness.

“The virus continues to move in ways that leave us always one step behind,” she said. “The dread now is that the long-promised escape hatch back to normality – which was always just around the corner – may be nothing more than a mirage.”

‘She said we were stuck with nothing more than troubleshooting – battling a global pandemic with temporary fixes, never turning our attention to why we were so vulnerable in the first place’ and acknowledging how cut to the bone public services are.

“ Without a political narrative that treats 2020 as a line in the sand, it will be too late when the next calamity is upon us,” she said.

“For tens of thousands, it is already too late.”