JUST when we thought we could breathe a sigh of relief - albeit behind a mask - at the dwindling number of coronavirus cases, anxiety is rising at the number of positive cases now being reported at schools.

It's not entirely surprising as anyone who remembers the dreaded nit queue of shame knows how rapidly illness and infections can spread among hordes of children sharing the same building on a daily basis.

Thankfully, and somewhat mysteriously, children who catch coronavirus are not at a high risk of becoming seriously ill, but of course there is the wider issue of who they may come into contact with.

At the height of lockdown families were forced to stay apart and the emotional impact on grandparents unable to see their beloved grandchildren was distressing.

As it was for the children themselves, many of whom were too young to understand the concept of a worldwide pandemic and why it was stopping them from having Sunday dinner with grandma and grandad.

Experts have warned that respiratory illnesses increase in the colder weather so it's understandable that as increasing numbers of schools report new coronavirus cases, anxiety is rising over what it means going forwards.

Winter can be a miserable season at the best of times, with the darkness, cold and rain putting many people off venturing outside anyway.

But if a second lockdown were to happen, it would only add to the gloom.

The Government certainly has a most unenviable task right now, having to juggle education, the economy and people's lives to get the best outcomes for the country.