Mike Dibble: A vaccine is coming - for the sake of a few months, its worth postponing family celebrations

Developing a successful vaccine is only part of the challenge

Developing a successful vaccine is only part of the challenge - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

At the time of writing we are about to start Tier Two restrictions. I am sure we are all keen to get into Tier One, with our Cornish neighbours, as soon as possible.

The statistics are certainly going in the right direction, which is encouraging. It appears to be a nationwide issue that rural areas are being grouped together with the larger urban areas into the same tier.

The situation is similar to Dorset where the rates are far higher in the Bournemouth area than they are in the west of the county. No doubt the activity levels in the local intensive care units have been taken into serious consideration when assessing this.

By opening up the Nightingale Hospital in Exeter we can see how serious the issue has become. Bearing this in mind, the five-day Christmas relaxation is hard to understand but I’m sure the sensible people of the Sidmouth area will think long and hard about inviting family members into their homes.

We’ll soon have a vaccine and for the sake of a few months surely it’s worth postponing family celebrations. A ‘Zoom’ Christmas will be very popular no doubt. The motto this year seems to be ‘Don’t cuddle Granny.’


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It is reported that the pandemic has seen a large number of people acquire a new pet. The lengthy period of isolation certainly allows plenty of time for owner and pet to bond. I was delighted to read that rescue centres have fewer animals than usual and hopefully that trend will continue. Apparently pedigree puppies are now costing thousands of pounds rather than hundreds of pounds. This fact can only help the rescue pets who are desperate for a loving home.

The new tiers one and two allow for the return of crowds at sporting events. Exeter Chiefs, Exeter City and local racecourses will be able to have a maximum of 2,000 spectators. If we can drop to Tier One this would increase to 4,000 which is close to Exeter City’s average crowd.

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I imagine the demand for Exeter Chiefs tickets will be very high but hopefully not attracting the touts! It was certainly a good weekend for the Exeter clubs last week. The Chiefs sit proudly at the top of the Premiership table after thrashing Bath and Exeter City have been drawn at home to Sheffield Wednesday in the F A Cup 3rd round after a fine win at Gillingham.

Onto a positive improvement to our local infrastructure with the resurfacing of a large part of the seafront road. I have to say I think they’ve done a great job not just with the tarmac but also with the road markings.

Someone mentioned the other day that it would be a good idea to convert the zebra crossing by The Mocha into a pelican crossing. This would be debated but most drivers are also pedestrians. I think we can agree that it is easier to be a pedestrian in that area than a driver! Apparently the record traffic queue from the crossing stretched back to the lifeboat station! You can imagine the thoughts of the driver waiting at the crossing as the hordes emerged from both sides especially as it was likely to have happened during Folk Week.

I saw that other resurfacing will happen early next year. An area of the A375 approaching Sidford and a major section of the road into town with part of Temple Street, Vicarage Road, Radway, High Street and Fore Street to be done. Well done to those who secured the financing for this from the Government.

A mild November has seen more sea swimmers at Sidmouth than I can ever remember. I seemed to see a number swimming every day I visited The Esplanade. When you add in the surfers there was a real feeling of activity in the air. Personally I was happy just to be watching!

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