Many more letters written, phone calls made and constituency matters chased. Despite reassurances that we won't be locked down over Christmas, I remain suspicious that the axe will fall post Boxing Day as ministers panic at the rising number of infections. I am sure they will claim they are doing so to protect the NHS. I thought it was there to protect us and it's had more than a year now to prepare for another variant. The good news - and by God do we need some - is that Omicron appears to be milder according to preliminary studies published in the UK and South Africa. Early evidence suggests fewer people are needing hospital treatment than with other variants - with estimates ranging from a 30 per cent to a 70 per cent reduction. However, concern remains that even if Omicron is milder, the sheer number of cases could overwhelm hospitals. More than 100,000 cases have been reported in the UK in a single day for the first time. A deeper understanding of the severity of Omicron will help countries decide how to respond to the virus. A total of 8,008 people were in hospital with coronavirus as of yesterday, the highest since 22 November - but way down on last winter's peak. Finally, vulnerable primary school children should be offered a low-dose Covid vaccine, government vaccine advisers said. They added that some older children should also be offered a booster in response to the Omicron variant. A low-dose version of a Covid vaccine for five to 11-year-olds has just been approved for use in the UK after being deemed safe and effective. But a decision on vaccinating all five to 11-year-olds has not yet been made.