A POST Covid baby bust, how to help dogs adjust to life after lockdown and vaccine passports were the topics discussed by columnists and contributors in the newspapers.

The Daily Mail

Ruth Sutherland said the number of births globally fell sharply last year and indications are this is likely to persist next year and beyond.

“We are in the grip of a baby bust that will have huge implications for society and for the UK and world economy,” she said. “ Lockdowns, the economic shock and the uncertainty caused by the pandemic have changed human behaviour dramatically.”

She said the horrors of home schooling had acted as a contraceptive for some and other had delayed plans to start a family, some indefinitely.

“A baby bust is terrible for the economy. Falling populations mean slower growth. Economies need young people for their energy, ideas and entrepreneurial verve. Might there be a compensatory baby bounce-back when the virus is vanquished? Let’s hope so. “

The Guardian

Rachel Casey, director of canine behaviour and research at Dogs Trust, said many people had welcomed a dog into their lives during lockdown, with a 60% increase in calls to the charity about adoption.

“As restrictions ease and the resumption of normality begins, it’s important we consider the implications for our canine companions and give them a hand to help them adjust,” she said. “ Puppies may never have seen visitors inside the house or have been left home alone. Our dogs – especially young ones – won’t understand why everything has changed. “

She said owners need to start preparing their dogs now, by starting to build in minimal times apart and getting used to visitors.

“While we provide lots of support to help keep dogs and owners together, we’re also here for when things aren’t going so well, and owners may be having trouble seeing a future with their dog.”

The Independent

Sean O’Grady said it might be “un-British” to have to carry a “vaccine passport”; but there was nothing ‘especially patriotic about lying in an intensive care unit, fighting for breath, either.’

“We have a right to live as we wish, but no right to live in a way that endangers other people,” he said. “The “vaccine passport” will soon, rightly, be compulsory for international travel, and its internal equivalent, a sort of “green pass”, needs to be brought in as soon as possible. There must be some insistence about this, for the good of the community as a whole.”

He said millions of lives had been saved by the MMR jab and millions could be saved by the Covid one.

“We need to make the country safe for our lives and our liberties to be restored for good.”