THIS week has marked one of the most unexpected anniversaries.

It’s been a full year since we lost our freedom, our livelihoods, and for 126,000, their lives.

The Covid pandemic has been tough, and as we came out of the Christmas and New Year celebrations last year, no one would have predicted just how things would change.

There has been a change of approach by people over the last year. I sense that far fewer think there is some crazy conspiracy, and most people realise that we have to deal with this as it comes.

Getting vaccinated is important and I joined the 30 million people who have been vaccinated last week.

We expect to get everyone done by mid-year and that means we will be, largely, protected.

But as we make heroic progress here in the UK, it seems that just across the Chanel, there is a third wave building in the EU.

This coincides with the EU also deciding that it must intervene on contracts and deny the UK some of our vaccines, pre-ordered and pre-paid for, to protect our citizens.

This is a strange situation and the argument put forward by the EU is that national need surpasses contract law, so they can intervene.

We disagree and expect our vaccines to be delivered. But the mechanism to enact our legal rights take time, whilst introducing trade sanctions leads to deadlock and all parts losing.

Vaccinations are the hub of getting everyone back to work and back to normal. Without achieving herd immunity through immunisation, we will have to live in a state of semi lockdown forever.

So to a certain extent, we are keen the that the EU does, actually, get on with giving its population the jab.

A year ago, we hoped that the lockdown would be lifted by the summer – autumn at the latest. We have had to modify our expectations and change our way of life.

Who knows how we will emerge from this in the future. Will we wear face masks as a matter of course? After all, they do in Asia. Will we ever shake hands with someone we are meeting for the first time? How often will we go to the office? Will our high streets ever come back to how we remember them?

We are slowly getting there, but it really is very slowly.