Kevin Foster: A year to forget?

Rainbow coronavirus

2021 brings with it great hope, but also some new challenges, but I know we will go forward together to face them - Credit: Getty Images

Unsurprisingly many are describing 2020 as a year to forget.

This sentiment is easy to understand as for many this year has brought worry, job losses, business closures and for some in our bay the loss of a loved one. It is certainly not the year I expected in the aftermath of the General Election this time last year.

Yet there are many things worth remembering about 2020.

The way our NHS and social care teams have risen to the challenge of working to protect our most vulnerable.

The thousands across our bay who answered the call which went out for volunteers to support the NHS, even though the exact risk they faced was not known at the time.

The community support groups which worked to help the most vulnerable who were shielding.

Those who took the time to reach out to a neighbour who might be vulnerable and the unity of purpose across the political divides here in our Bay in rising to the Covid-19 challenge.

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This year has been the most challenging for our bay since the darkest days of the 1940s when our beaches became potential landing grounds for an armed invasion.

Yet, like then, our community has risen to the challenge put before us, with each person doing their bit to tackle this threat head on.

As the vaccination programme rolls out the battle may be starting to go our way, but it is far from won.

There will still be setbacks over the coming months, like the recent news from London and the South East of a new more contagious strain, meaning some more darker times before the dawn finally breaks after the long night of this fight.

So 2021 brings with it great hope, but also some new challenges, but I know we will go forward together to face them.


This Christmas will be difficult for many as the current times mean much of what we normally do over the festive season cannot take place this year. 

Sadly, Covid-19 turns our natural instincts when with close relatives, to be close and hug, against us. 

The comment I normally make about a party always being guaranteed on my birthday on New Year’s Eve will not be one I can make this year! 

Yet the essence of the season is still with us, remembering the light which came into our world at Christmas and being with those closest to us.

In deciding what to do on the day itself some families will be facing circumstances most of us do not, for example where a loved one is affected by a condition which means it could be their last.

I faced this back in 2013 when my Mother was desperately ill, resulting in me spending the day helping Dad look after her and cooking the Christmas dinner.

While very different to a 'normal' Christmas, it is a day which produced some very special memories. 

Mum sadly passed away a month later.

For my own part I will be phoning Dad in his care home on Christmas Day and doing a window visit to see him on Boxing Day, plus it will be a video call to Hazel’s (my honorary) grandchildren, rather than our usual visit. 

Whatever you decide is the right choice for yourself and your family I hope you have a peaceful and blessed Christmas.


I have restarted my regular advice surgeries, although due to current public health guidance they must be by appointment only. 

My next surgery will be on Friday, January 8, 2021, from 3pm to 5pm at 5-7 East Street, Torquay TQ2 5SD.

Social distancing measures will be in place and a face covering must be worn unless you have a medical condition which means you cannot wear one.

To book an appointment you can email me at or telephone 01803 214989.