The global rollout of vaccine programs is widely accepted as the most promising armory in the fight against COVID-19. However, experts fear that the ‘vaccine effect’ could lead to worryingly high and persistent infection rates which could potentially outweigh the positive effects achieved by mass vaccination.
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As new and more infectious variants of COVID-19 are identified across the world, it has become clear that 2021 will continue to be hampered by the devastating impacts of the virus. The approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/Astra Zeneca vaccines has meant that plans to implement mass vaccinations globally are now underway.
The emergence of two new variants of COVID-19 which are thought to be up to 70% more infectious have resulted in new lockdowns being imposed in countries across the globe. In the UK, a new national ‘level 5’ lockdown has been implemented due to fears that hospitals were just three weeks away from being totally overwhelmed.
Despite a rocky start to the year, the property market appears to be putting its best foot forward as it experiences a surge in interest for new properties during the month of January. According to UK property website Rightmove, it has had its busiest ever start to the year, with site visits up by an impressive 30%
The new year is often a time for undertaking a good old fashioned declutter. From sorting out the old toys to reorganizing your living room and sifting through a mountain of clothes for donation to charity, there is something cathartic about getting rid of the old and making way for the new.
Despite the need to keep people safe and protected from the dangers of COVID-19, the social distancing and strict restrictions imposed on the elderly and vulnerable this year has undoubtedly led to a surge in loneliness and isolation.
January is typically a time of new beginnings, taking stock of what has been already achieved and setting plans for the future. The ironic thing is that most of us know that we aren’t going to keep the resolutions that we set, particularly if they relate to our creature comforts such as losing weight, saving money, cutting down on drinking or joining the gym.
The world may well have been distracted by the continued prevalence of COVID-19 this year but, be under no illusion, the impacts of climate change have continued to roll out across the globe albeit out of the mainstream spotlight.
Following the recent announcements that major department stores in both the U.K. and the US have buckled under the pressure of a difficult trading year, many questions are being raised about what will happen to these spacious buildings.
As we enter the final phase of the Christmas Day countdown, many will be looking forward to spending time with their family, albeit on a much smaller scale than in previous years. But with so many people now working from home, how easy will it be to truly ‘switch off’ this Christmas?
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