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ESTHER RANTZEN argues that the Covid-19 restrictions should remain in place at Christmas


The best gift we can give our families for Christmas is to refuse to meet them. I did, and while it wasn't easy, I believe it is time for us older people to be brave and firm and tell our families to stay away.

And when the boys argue, just ask them: Do you really want to remember how Christmas put you in danger Grandma?

They know we love and miss them, but let's prove it by agreeing to postpone Christmas for six months.

Doctors and politicians are in serious conflict. So it's up to us to decide. Medical advice is unanimous, doctors united in a joint statement by the Health Service Journal and the British Medical Journal that it would be rash and wrong to relax the rules this Christmas.

These are tough choices. The boys believe they are immortal so it is up to us oldies to make the decision. Is it really that kind of sacrifice for us? We are happy; We have a supply of fond memories that we can fall back on. In the picture Esther Rantzen with her daughter Rebecca

It is clear that we risk disaster in the New Year if we don't stay apart over Christmas. Don't we owe it to our health professionals to listen to them when they are jeopardizing their own safety every day?

On the flip side, our politicians are desperately trying to keep the economy going, especially at a time of the year that is crucial for so many, especially in retail and hospitality.

The fact is that while no one wants to ban Christmas, given the current relaxation of the rules that allow three households to speak out, in the face of the virus, many older people will feel unable to speak out and say that they spread and mutate feeling insecure.

If the rules change and the restrictions are tightened again, they could feel encouraged – and it could even save their lives.

Boris, the lord of embodied faults, fears being called Scrooge who banned Christmas. There are some lively old folks who agree with him.

Yes, there are strong arguments that we should all come together. Many older people have been desperately alone and long to be seen and touched by loved ones. However, the counter-arguments should be even more convincing.

America's Thanksgiving meetings last month caused a dangerous surge there. If our hospitals are overcrowded with desperately ill elderly people in the New Year, who will bear the burden of keeping them alive? The doctors who tried to warn us.

And if they fail, who will be responsible for the increase in deaths? The politicians too scared to ban Christmas? Or the people who wouldn't know?

Of course, Christmas is traditionally a time for families to spend quality time together. Like most, I had plans to be with my grandchildren, but instead I told them on Christmas Day that we could only meet virtually.

These are tough choices. The boys believe they are immortal so it is up to us oldies to make the decision. Is it really that kind of sacrifice for us? We are happy; We have a supply of fond memories that we can fall back on.

Hilarious pantomimes, Christmas mornings spent opening stockings, the turkey's challenge in the oven. None of that was possible this year, but they still shine in our memories.

Why don't we choose to delay, not extinguish, the fun?

Let's give you some goodies to look forward to. My 80th birthday party should have been in June, but I postponed it for a year.

To be honest, December 25th was never Jesus' authentic date of birth: it was chosen in the fourth century to coincide with pagan festivals and to lift the spirits at the time of the winter solstice, when the days are at their shortest.

So, bishops and churchmen, why not encourage us to attend virtual, streamed services this year? And give us permission to postpone our secular celebrations for six months until the summer solstice.

June 21st is the summer solstice, and since it's a Monday next year, have the government declare a bank holiday.

Theaters could open a season of summer pantomimes. Santa Claus could arrive with a swimsuit.

An Australian Christmas in June? Count me in.