Peter Vosper, chairman of the Vospers Group, writes for the Torbay Weekly
Is life really that bad or should we, in Devon and Cornwall, be counting our blessings?
Those of you who are Monty Python fans will remember in The Life of Brian, Eric Idle singing ‘Always Look On The Bright Side of Life’. You would probably not be aware this is now one of the most popular songs played at funerals.
I am not underestimating the tragedy of those families who have lost loved ones to coronavirus, the hospital workers who worked so hard to save lives, or those who have had to combat loneliness and are unable to see their loved ones.
I also understand those businesses which have been hardest hit in tourism, hospitality, beauty treatments, to name a few.
Those of us who love our sport who cannot go to meet friends and cheer on our local team, or those teams playing behind locked doors to empty stadiums is another significant loss to our social wellbeing.
However, many of us do have the opportunity to live with our family and get out and enjoy our beautiful environment. Providing we take care and follow the rules we will hopefully return to the freedoms we were used to.
Of course, I have some sympathy for the young people who want to get on with their lives, particularly as they seem to be able to recover quickly with apparent little effect on their health, and to whom a year is a major part of life. I have been there.
What we do need to do is better communicate what opportunities there are in the future for jobs and the skills required to have a chance of getting one.
Those of you complaining about unreasonable restrictions preventing you from doing all you want to do consider what you have rather than what you haven’t.
We all need to pull together to look after those less fortunate than ourselves, as so many wonderful individuals are in this crisis are doing, and look at the bright side of life.
When I read an eminent individual state that ‘now it is time we should give up our love for the motor car’, I am not happy.
Naturally, you say, it is your business and your livelihood and must be a concern. Actually my issue is not that, as I accept we should be preparing for change and ways we can improve the environment, but we must put alternative mobility solutions in place before we can hope to get any agreement to even move towards this objective.
Mobility in this part of the world - and most of England outside the big cities - means most of us need our car to go to work, to attend to our daily requirements, to visit friends and family, and to escape to the pleasures that make life worth living.
Frankly, the investment in public transport for rural areas has been appalling and we are way behind the rest of Europe.
Added to this, most of our goods are transported by road, even new vehicles which were originally transported by the railways.
In the meantime, enjoy the motor car, the flexibility it gives you to independently travel from your door to your destination and back again, when you wish to. A freedom I would certainly miss.
Looking forward to next week. Stay safe and keep smiling.