REGULAR readers of this column will by now know that I am extremely fearful of catching coronavirus for a couple of good reasons.

In a couple of days, I will officially be in at least one of the ‘vulnerable’ groups (yes, I am that old) and sadly my bathroom scales would also indicate I may well be on my way to being in another vulnerable category.

As a result, I have listened very carefully to what the medical and scientific experts have said I need to do in order to protect myself until the vaccine can be rolled out.

Fortunately, I have been able to work from home from before the first official lockdown so I have been able to minimise my contact with people, avoiding that horrible commute into Manchester.

I still quarantine anything coming into the house, including shopping and post. If possible, shopping is also disinfected.

I have had only one visit from a family member since March, and that was socially distanced.

I also believe that many of the government’s coronavirus policy decisions have been based on what was happening in London and the south east, not on the north west where the virus was still rampant.

I was also never convinced Covid-19 was in retreat when we were being urged to ‘eat out to help out’.

But the evidence seems to be that many other people aren’t taking the whole killer virus pandemic quite as seriously as me.

Maybe it’s because of the mixed messages coming out of Westminster, maybe it’s simply because of lockdown fatigue or perhaps it’s because of the Dominic Cummings Barnard Castle eye test fiasco that effectively robbed the government of any moral authority to tell us what to do.

As a result, I simply don’t trust other people to protect themselves and by extension to protect me.

So what, then, am I to make of a Warrington woman who continued to operate a beauty business from her home during lockdown 2.

Thankfully, it appears there are some decent people out there who reported the woman for flouting the national lockdown restrictions.

Under the latest lockdown regulations, beauty services are included in the businesses which must close until December 2.

Being as charitable as I can, I am prepared to accept the woman may have had pressing financial reasons for continuing her business.

But nothing explains the sheer stupidity which ensued following the arrival of the police.

Police said: “Officers engaged with the woman, explained the regulations and encouraged her and the client to do the right thing but they continued.

“Because of the blatant breach they had no choice but to issue a fixed penalty notice to the woman and her client.

“We never want to do this, but this was the only way in which we could continue to keep the public safe and reduce the spread of the virus.”

So just to be clear, the police turned up at the beautician’s house, gave her and her client the opportunity to stop what they were doing without penalty and they just carried on… while the police were there.

Perhaps a perm and a tint were more important.

For the more sensible of us, this story has a happy ending.

The business owner was fined £1,000 for opening a restricted business and the client was fined £200 for being in a gathering of two or more people from a different household in a private dwelling.

On a different subject, I noticed it was Children in Need on Friday.

Apparently, it was the 40th anniversary of the fundraising telethon.

What a savage indictment of a country, allegedly the sixth wealthiest in the world, that we still have to rely on the charity, kindness and goodwill of ordinary people to help those most in need.

As German stand-up comedian Henning Wehn famously said: “We don’t do charity in Germany. We pay taxes. Charity is a failure of governments’ responsibilities.”