Councillor Hobson’s message was published today (Thursday) and states: “As we begin the new year and try to put 2020 behind us, we are doing so under circumstances that are inevitably going to be challenging for many. Once again we find ourselves in the position of having some of the most austere restrictions put on our way of life that many of us will have ever endured.
“There has, and will doubtless continue to be, much discussion about the timing of announcements and whether our area is being treated ‘fairly’.
“Some would say that in Louth we have been, in recent weeks, paying the price of other areas’ case numbers as we struggle against the effects of the pandemic.
“However we now all find ourselves once more with identical restrictions.
“The idea of us all being in this together will be key in the weeks ahead. Last year we saw an outpouring of kindness and caring amongst our community. People pulled together and the sense of unity was evident. Everyone knew what we were being asked to do and why we were being encouraged to do it.
“It’s perhaps understandable that as the months have progressed there is a feeling of weariness at the seemingly constant changes in restrictions designed to protect our community, a lack of clarity about what we are permitted to do and what we’re not, and perhaps even complacency because we just ‘want life back to normal’.
“If everyone plays their part we can get through this lockdown period with the same spirit that shone through last spring.
“As in the original lockdown, I must urge every member of our town and community to work together. Whether each of us agrees with the rules and guidance we have been asked to follow, I ask you to put those thoughts aside.
“It is imperative that we look after each other, not just when we are outside of our homes doing our essential shopping or our permitted once daily exercise, but also when we check on the wellbeing of others or make a call to a friend to maintain our own mental health.
“Please do adhere to the guidance: wear face coverings when required to do so, give others that bit of extra space on the pavement or in a shop and, perhaps most of all, exercise tolerance and empathy with others who may have a different point of view or way of doing things.
“It is inevitable that so many of Louth’s businesses will be impacted once again by these latest measures. I thank them for looking for ways to adapt and the additional services that they have put in place over the past nine months, it has not gone unnoticed and I trust that the people of our town will remember where they received helpful service and continue to support those businesses in the future.
“In addition, I would like to once again voice my thanks to all of those who continue to give their time voluntarily to serve our town. We have a proud tradition in Louth of people going above and beyond for those that live in the town, not for the recognition, but because they want to contribute to improving the lives of the community.
“One final message I would give to the people of Louth is, whilst we have been so much more fortunate than many other towns and counties and have thus far been mercifully spared the numbers of cases and deaths elsewhere, do not be complacent that it can’t happen.
“Please do not look for ways of circumventing the rules but, instead, adapt and live within them; they are in place for a reason and by continuing to pull together and follow them we can all try to look after ourselves, our families and our friends, still maintaining the community spirit that makes our special town just that bit more special.”