Mike Dibble: "Like everyone, I can’t wait to get back to normality"

Rolling countryside with Sidmouth and the sea in the distance

Many people have been getting out and discovering the local countryside around the Sid Valley. View from Fire Beacon Hill - Credit: Alex Walton Photography

This year has certainly been one none of us will ever forget. Last Saturday’s announcement was another change for us all to take on board. Personally, I think it was the right decision but it could have been made much sooner.

Mike Dibble

Sidmouth Herald columnist Mike Dibble - Credit: contributed

It is hard for the government to make the right call as everybody’s opinion differs. Our thoughts must be with those directly affected by this dreadful disease but we mustn’t forget those who have been indirectly affected. This will include people who are waiting for operations and those whose treatment has been delayed. The situation at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital last week was dire and I suspect there was huge relief that Devon remained in Tier 2.

Covid 19 has obviously dominated the news in 2020 but there have been other, more positive side effects. I suspect that many people started to discover their local area in more detail and were surprised at the diversity that has always surrounded them. We had a glorious Spring and people were able to explore the paths and countryside around them. Personally I was downloading apps on my phone on such things as plants, trees and butterflies. It seemed that we were noticing things we hadn’t taken in before.

With no organised sport, people were walking, running and cycling and hopefully improving their health. Gardening was very fashionable and it was noticeable how good the town looked. In addition, it was the time for decorating, decluttering and taking up new hobbies.

Gradually things were to get easier with the resumption of non-essential shopping, sport, hobbies and indoor socialising but it was still so different to what we were used to.


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We do, of course, still have various restrictions and before the vaccine is fully with us there is a chance it will get worse before it gets better. But we’ve come this far so a few more weeks and months has got to be worth it. Think of the things you enjoy doing and imagine you’ll soon be doing them again. For me the sound of leather on willow whilst sitting in a deckchair with a cool pint is a delightful thought! Like everyone, I can’t wait to get back to normality. Happy Christmas and best wishes for 2021.

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