The first case of Covid-19 in Caerphilly County Borough was confirmed on March 11, 2020 – the same day the coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation.
Since then, more than, 13,000 confirmed coronavirus cases have been recorded in the borough – with more than 205,000 recorded across Wales.
In that time, Wales, like other countries in the UK and across the globe, has seen restrictions put in place, lifted, and then put in place again, due to the ever-changing nature of the situation.
But there is hope that things will begin to return to a sense of normality soon – but one thing is for certain, coronavirus is here to stay and we will have to learn how to live with it and manage it.
The vaccine rollout in Wales and other parts of the UK has picked up pace – with more than one million people having received a first vaccination dose.
Wales’ Health Minister Vaughan Gething has said every adult in Wales will have been offered a first coronavirus vaccine by July 31, providing there are no issues with the vaccine supply.
The Welsh Government has also given strong indications that lockdown measures, in place since December, will be relaxed within the coming weeks, but have stopped short at setting a date for a full lifting of restrictions.
Despite the support from the UK Government and the Welsh Government in the form of grants, businesses are on their knees and the economy needs to get moving again.
There is no denying that Caerphilly County Borough has had it tough.
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Back in September we were the first area in Wales to enter a local lockdown and things progressively got worse from there.
While the local lockdown saw cases decline in the borough, as neighbouring council areas also found themselves placed under stricter rules, virus rates started increasing again in October.
The Welsh Government reacted by placing the whole of Wales under a two-week firebreak lockdown from October 23.
But after the firebreak lockdown, case rates started to increase rapidly once again and the most recent Wales-wide lockdown was introduced just days before Christmas.
Non-essential shops, pubs, hairdressers and schools closed and the advice to ‘stay at home’ was issued once again.
That lockdown remains in place nearly three months later.
But things are changing with virus rates across Wales now the lowest they’ve been since September.
While the Welsh Government has been criticised for being overly cautious in easing restrictions and tensions are high over an increase in police enforcing those restrictions, the situation looks like it could be changing for the good.
The Welsh Government is due to make its next announcement on rule changes on Friday, March 12, and is expected to relax some rules.
We just have to hold on that little bit longer to see the beginning of a gradual return to normality.
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