THE current coronavirus pandemic has affected everybody’s every day life since last March, at least.

Currently in the throes of a third national lockdown, with schools largely closed for most children, we are all trying to adapt to being stuck in the house for hours on end the best we can.

While it is frustrating for us all, we do it for the safety of others, knowing that more than 100,000 people have died of Covid-19 nationally.

And this weekend we think back to a whole different virus which had a huge impact on our nation exactly two decades ago.

It is 20 years since the first case of foot and mouth disease was discovered in the UK, and for nine months life was very different for us all.

None more so than those in the farming industry, who had their businesses ripped away from them as their livestock died in unimaginable numbers.

The implications the disease had on the country were monumental, and many did not recover from the widespread disease. Of course, farmers have been affected by the Covid-19 virus too, and it is just one of the many obstacles that these agricultural folk have to overcome as they fight for their livelihoods.

It was interesting to discover recently that, compared to other European nations, Britons appreciate the work done by farmers the most. That is certainly true in Cumbria, where we are in eternal gratitude for the long hours and the work they put in to keep the country going.