Impossible decision ... and patience is running out
- Credit: PA
A rock and a hard place - that is the unenviable position Boris Johnson has found himself in.
Risk fully reopening on June 21 in the face of rising infections or delay and disappoint so many?
Firstly let's bust a few myths.
The prime minister does not want the lockdown to continue. Telling people they can't do what they want is not a vote winner. That is why despots don't generally run democratic elections.
Mr Johnson does not want to be the PM who took away freedoms again and again. He is liberal by nature.
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But he also doesn't want to be the PM accused of allowing another deadly wave of Covid to claim lives and put the NHS in peril.
In the end he has taken the view that another four weeks of caution is the lesser of two evils.
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He can't win - and he knows it. This decision is taken only because the government believe the fastest way out of this is to softly put a foot on the brake.
But four weeks for a business that has been shut for 15 months could be the difference between survival and the dole queue.
It is easy to say "it's only another month ... what difference will four weeks make?" when your livelihood is not on the line.
So, as much as we should trust the pushing back of restrictions is down to what the science is revealing, it is completely understandable that frustration and anger is growing.
For 15 months the things we have all taken from granted have been curtailed. For many people the situation is way beyond desperate.
And look at the geographical infection breakdown - this is a four-week extension to get on top of an outbreak largely in the north west not East Anglia.
But we know this virus doesn't stand still. If we can't beat it there we can expect it here before long.
I think this is the last disappointment the public can stomach before it turns seriously toxic for Mr Johnson.
Four weeks. As many jabs in as many arms as is possible. Come in East Anglia let's dig deep one last time. Let's swallow the anger one last time. And let's prove once and for all we have beaten this ghastly virus.
One last time.