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Tiers or Tears: Local Lockdowns, Rule Rebels and Substantial Snacks?

By  1st December 2020

Hello everyone,

Firstly, I have some exciting news! I recently wrote an article for the Metro online and it went live today. The piece is about the photoshoot I did with the wonderful Behind the Scars (@behindthescars_) instagram account where I showed my scars to the world with the aim to encourage others to feel as proud of theirs as I do of mine. You can read the article here!

So I have already broken my posting streak. Promising a post every Monday may have been a little bit ambitious so I am going to aim for once a week from now on.

However, I did want to say thank you for all the support and love I received on my last blog post. It is so good to know that I am not the only one feeling frustrated by people’s actions throughout lockdown 2.0.

Now that this lockdown 2.0, is coming to an end (wooohooo!!), the government have reintroduced the tiered system through which different areas of the country will be subject to certain restrictions depending on the severity of the Covid cases in the area.

As happy as I am that we can finally resume our lives to an extent and start meeting with friends again, I am still worried that this tiered system won’t manage to curb infection rates as much as we hope. Figures released today showed that Covid infection rates have fallen by a third since the second lockdown started which is absolutely fantastic and the tiered system, we hope, will continue to help with this and cases will continue to fall. But as we know, many people were reluctant to follow restrictions during lockdown – *cough cough*, Rita Ora –  so will they suddenly bow down to the rules now?

I am not sure I’m convinced. First of all, the tiered system hasn’t even begun and there is already controversy surrounding it. For example, some people are questioning the criteria, so, the different reasons for which an area may be in a certain tier. These include, first and foremost, the case numbers but also the number of available hospitals beds for potential covid patients in the area. This is, of course, is to avoid hospitals becoming overrun with patients.

But many are disputing these criteria and claiming that the tiers have not been set fairly. For instance, as of the 25th of November, the numbers of covid cases in every region of the country except London, the South East and the East of England, Covid cases were falling. However, despite this, London has been placed in tier 2 whilst places such as Greater Manchester and Newcastle are under the strictest rules in tier 3.

Many claim that this is due to the London-centricity of the government and their own personal interests in keeping the capital – a key player in the upkeep of UK economy (or what’s left of it) – up and running although politicians have argued that everything is in line with the criteria.

Of course, if people don’t agree with the way the rules have been decided, they won’t be inclined to follow them. People are already excited by the ‘freedom’ that the end of lockdown will bring now that it is tantalisingly close. I don’t blame people for being frustrated by lockdown – I feel completely the same but I know what the cost of misbehaving during these times could be, as many clinically vulnerable people, or those who know someone who is, do.

Pubs are already planning ways that they can circumvent the rules. In regions in tier 2, pubs are only allowed to sell alcohol if it’s served with a substantial meal. This is done to avoid people becoming tipsy and letting down their guard and forgetting to social distance. However there is now debate over what can be considered as a substantial meal and some are suggesting that a scotch egg fits the bill. I love a scotchie as much as the next British person but I am not too sure that it would do the job of lining my stomach – although I am known to be a massive lightweight. Oh and I might add that the politician who suggested this scotch egg exemption owns a family farm – which sells scotch eggs.

My overall point is that I worry that once lockdown 2.0 is over and we ebb ever closer to freedom from being stuck in our homes, people will let down their guard – understandably but also dangerously. I hope that everyone continues to consider the risks of their actions and aren’t distracted too much by the temptation of a scotch egg and a pint.

Those in tier 2 are now not allowed to meet with those outside their household or support bubble indoors and can only meet up to 6 others when outside. This includes me as I live in Surrey. But, with  temperatures dropping by the day, I doubt many will be up for sitting in their gardens for an evening chat with their mates. I know I certainly wouldn’t, meaning that my only options for meeting my friends is at in a nicely warmed and lit area of a restaurant, cafe or pub – if we have a full meal (or a scotch egg) of course. But I’m sure that like me, not everyone can afford to pay for a full meal every time they want to meet their friends in the warmth and so I would expect that people will be meeting in their homes despite the rules.

We have all been granted leave of these tier-based boundaries for 5 days over the Christmas period and are allowed to meet with members of two other households inside our homes, however. So, despite stopping us from doing so before, there will be a 5 day frenzy of peoples trying to meet with as many of their friends as they can within this period so I may tentatively suggest that cases are going to soar when this freedom period is over after all the hard work of the tiered system (if it does actually work).

So, is this tiered system going to help us bash this nasty little virus or will it end in more heartbreak, loss and tears? We will have to see what happens.

I’ll try not to be so negative in my next post and stop using my blog as an emotional outlet for all my worries about Covid-19 or soon I’ll have to change the name of my blog to Cecilia-Concern.

See you next time,

Cecilia-Joy

My YouTube: Cecilia-Joy Adamou 

My Instagram: Cecilia_joy_x

My Twitter: Cecilia_joy_x

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