IT’S one thing to be in denial about something, particularly if it’s a personal issue or a trauma which has caused considerable distress.

We all have different coping mechanisms, and in some cases we can grow to accept and even overcome the matter at hand.

But to deny a global event which has evidently killed almost two million people worldwide, is beyond comprehension in my opinion.

I believe that no right thinking member of society would even think of suggesting that coronavirus, a pandemic which has brought devastation to families in the heart of the Tyne Valley, is not true.

However, a series of events elsewhere in the UK have led three prominent local figures to speak out against the ‘Covid deniers’.

Earlier this month, 16 people were arrested during an anti-lockdown protest in south London.

Police officers clashed with some of the maskless protesters who arrived in Clapham Common, some shouting “take your freedom back”.

Prime Minster Boris Johnson looked noticeably angered when asked about those who considered the pandemic to be a hoax.

He said: “The kind of people who stand outside hospitals and say Covid is a hoax really do need to grow up.

“We’ve heard eloquently from the head of NHS England about the pressure the NHS is under.We’ve all got to do our bit responsibly to protect it.”

Hospitals and NHS staff have been forced to take precious time out of their overburdened schedules to call on the so-called deniers to stop spreading propaganda about hospitals being empty, and more alarmingly, to stop protesting in large groups without masks or social distancing.

Hexham’s MP Guy Opperman said the actions of such people were an “insult” to NHS staff, while Coun. Colin Horncastle, who represents South Tynedale on Northumberland County Council, labelled them as “outlandish and illogical.”

Their words followed a social media outburst from the Rt Rev. Graham Usher, now the Bishop of Norwich in East Anglia, who previously served as the Rector of Hexham for a decade between 2004 and 2014.

Rev. Usher said the ‘Covid deniers’ made him “so cross, not least because they think only of themselves and not their neighbours.”

You might ask what generated such a strong response. After all, is it worth even acknowledging such illogical rhetoric that denies a deadly pandemic which has impacted upon everyone’s lives?

But when you consider the irresponsible way in which the deniers have acted, its only right that those in authority should stand up for the general public, and the heroic professionals who are working day and night to shield them from Covid.

Nothing can deny the impact of this ghastly disease on society, including the chilling figures for our very own neck of the woods.

With over 13,000 active cases of the virus within Northumberland, and more than 480 Covid-related deaths at Northumbria Healthcare hospitals, the facts could not be any more stark.

While shops and services offering products deemed essential remain open, many thriving businesses have been brought to a complete standstill.

Jobs have been lost, workers in some sectors have had to put their lives on hold, and many parents are having to educate their children from home.

We want the pandemic to go, but it remains as real as ever.