THESE last few weeks have been something else altogether.

I can’t be alone in having to think very hard when trying to recall if something happened a day or a week ago. The lockdown means that days often seem to blend all too easily together.

Lockdown began 10 weeks ago.

And now we’re at the opening stages of unwinding it.

From Monday we can begin to meet in smaller groups of six - observing social distancing.

Schools are returning. And in a fortnight, most shops will be reopened.

We can do this because of the tremendous effort we have put in to getting the rate of infection down.

For every key worker who has done their job under the most stressful circumstances, there are people who have done as important a part by socially distancing.

And while it may feel like freedom is within our grasp - and it is - we also have to remember that if we act rashly now and allow the infection rate to creep up, we could see a local lockdown.

So please, respect the rules.

This is only one of the reasons why seeing so many people gathered at Hollywood Park last week, ignoring social distancing rules, was so upsetting.

I can’t think of a single person who doesn’t want victims to be protected and supported, who doesn’t want to show their support.

But I will say it again: we will only see justice if people come forward with information.

If you have information, take it to the police.

And if you don’t want to do that, you can go to Crimestoppers, Women’s Community Matters or even me.

But we also can’t give into mob rule.

There are those on the far right who will stop at nothing to seize an agenda for their own ends, who will whip up hate because they relish division.

The only people they are here to help are themselves.

Having spent much of these last 10 weeks working with the various voluntary groups who have popped up to serve those people most isolated by coronavirus, I know we are better than that.

I know that this community is strong enough to rise to any challenge thrown at it.

Looking at the scenes at Hollywood Park and reflecting on this week, I was reminded of the fantastic poem, If, by Rudyard Kipling:

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you but make allowance for their doubting too

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting or being lied about, don’t deal in lies

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating and yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise

And so it goes on. A ballad to patience and temperament, and of keeping your head.

But while some adults have been losing their heads, we should look to some of Furness’ children who have kept theirs and led the way.

Pippah Webber is the brains behind The Diary of a Running Girl, sharing positive messages and videos as she builds to doing a 5k. Kayden Rutherford ran 100k in May for Motor Neurone Disease.

And every day I get a new picture in my inbox from a proud parent whose son or daughter has decorated their windows with a lovely picture to thank key workers. On my walks in the evening or when out volunteering in the community, I am staggered by just how many of these there are and of how buoyed it makes me to see them. As we begin to ease lockdown, I hope we keep that same spirit.

Of people working together to help their friends and neighbours, and of recognising the value of people in our community.