'For everything cruel about the pandemic, I’m struck by the hope I feel for what’s ahead of us'

A young women taking a lateral flow test

Lateral flow tests are just one thing that help maintain the type of lifestyle we are used to - Credit: PA Images

Last week, Brent held its second in-person meeting of full council. As I said then, it was an encouraging if cautious relief to be there, in the room with colleagues, officers, and members of the public.

A relief because of how easily one’s health and wellbeing can be taken for granted and how fortunate we are to have so far evaded the worst extremes of this pandemic, extremes that have robbed this borough of almost 900 lives.

Cllr Muhammed Butt, Leder of Brent Council, attended the festical (Pic: Francis Henry)

Cllr Muhammed Butt was cautiously encouraged about the in-person full council meeting - Credit: Frances Henry

Encouraging because, between safe and effective vaccines – which is exactly what they are – and the ability to test oneself with ease, knowing in a near instant whether or not we are a risk to others, in keeping a safe distance, wearing masks, washing hands, we know that we can substantially reduce the chances of infection, and in doing so, stand a much better chance of living with growing confidence, the types of lives we each prize so highly.

And cautious, because of how fragile our ways of life are, and – if we are in anyway reckless – how quickly and comprehensively the everyday can be turned on its head.

I also said that, for everything cruel about the pandemic, I’m struck by the hope I feel for what’s ahead of us. Brent will always be a place of challenge and has always been a place of opportunity. So when I think about what we’ve dealt with, I feel assured, knowing that we are rising to the challenges, and we are making universal the opportunities.


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