On Tuesday I visited the Badger Farm vaccination centre where volunteers were presented with a small gift for their public service.
It was a form of service but, from the volunteering I did, it was clear those who gave their time really enjoyed the experience.
As Parliament returns next month - and Autumn term beckons - Covid is clearly still around but on any current evidence crisis this is not.
I and others have been extremely vocal in Parliament and on the media throughout the pandemic and good job too given no meaningful scrutiny or challenge came from the opposition parties.
I said last month that the issue going forward is not Covid regulations or the Coronavirus Act (although that must be repealed) it is whether we really mean it when we say we must ‘learn to live with Covid’.
Many battles lie ahead as some find it harder to let go of the rules and I’ll bet we can all point to examples where “due to Covid” is now more the excuse than the reason.
As Australia and New Zealand are finally having to admit, the idea that Covid could be eliminated was always hubristic, but the Delta variant appears to have seen off the case for “zero Covid”.
Our own scientific advisor has said herd immunity was unlikely to be reached and Covid will become an endemic disease similar to flu.
I agree with those experts who say we should stop reporting Covid case numbers and focus on those who are acutely unwell and in hospital because of the virus.
Why do I say that? On Sunday there were 40,000 at St Mary’s for the Man Utd game and 50,000 people were at Anfield (in the Covid hit North West) to watch their team beat Burnley.
Given it’s increasingly clear the vaccines are not able to prevent all transmission, the return of the Premier League will surely push up infections?
And if that genuinely is a problem - the Northern Ireland Health Minister described a small rise in cases as “extremely worrying” last weekend - then I don’t understand the strategy we’re following at all.
The continued obsession with infection figures encourages paranoia when vaccines have severely weakened the link between cases, hospitalisations and deaths, and most “cases” are mild or asymptomatic.
Learning to live with Covid means recognising that fact - to follow the science - and it means returning to the office, releasing vaccinated travellers from expensive PCR testing on return from low-risk destinations and setting our children free.
This weekend the National Education Union said schools should consider putting children back into “bubbles” next term if just two cases of Covid are confirmed.
“We do expect bubbles to be reintroduced in those circumstances and would hope that parents are supportive of Headteachers who make these decisions,” it said.
Given Government guidance says the opposite and knowing the damage we’ve already done to our young people, I wouldn’t bet on that. I shall be asking questions in Parliament.
If Covid is to become an endemic disease then we must accept it will spread, possibly forever. Thanks to the vaccine, this needn’t be an unsustainable burden on the NHS.
Learning to live with coronavirus does have to be more than something we say; and everywhere I go people do say that.
The best way we can honour NHS staff, the people who’ve suffered at the hands of a brutal virus - and the volunteers who helped get us double-jabbed - is believe in our vaccine and let the human capacity to adapt and survive be where the final Covid victory is won.