Over the past few weeks, especially the last 7 days or so I have been feeling frustrated – as I am sure many other people are too – about the current situation that we find ourselves in. I expressed some of my feelings in my most recent YouTube video but I thought I would take the opportunity to delve a little deeper into the subject
For two weeks now, the UK have been in “lockdown” during which people were asked by the government to abide by a few simple rules. These included staying at home as often as possible, meeting only with one other person outside your household ‘bubble’ – socialising only in an outside area, with working from home greatly encouraged. Non-essential shops were told to shut their doors for the second time this year whilst those allowed to remain open had to adhere to certain criteria such as being a garden centre or hardware store or be actively selling items deemed as essential, such as food, of course. Restaurants have also been closed up, unless they’re able to provide a “covid-secure” takeaway service (Telegraph, 2020).
It seems, however, that many have been playing a little fast and loose with these rules. A few local shops in my area, for instance, have been able to reopen their doors by cunningly manipulating the regulations in their favour. The hallmark high street bits and bobs gift shop that sells all sorts of miscellaneous yet useless items; you know – where you nip in for a card and present on the way to a birthday-do – was closed at a the beginning of this lockdown for obvious reasons – unless you consider printed mugs and patterned scarves as essential items. However, by buying up a hoard of fruit and vegetables – which of course are classed as essential items – they were able to reopen their doors as a pop-up grocery shop, allowing customers in to buy fruit and veg, and of course, their usual (non-essential) items too. This is not the only case of this type of rule bending in my local area.
A furniture shop that was also subject to closure at the beginning of lockdown – quite rightly as I’m sure most people’s instinct at a time like this is to stock up on food and other important daily items, not kitchen tables and hand embroidered cushions. But by applying to the council for permission to be re-classified as a garden centre (not a single plant in the shop), they were able to re-open in line with the lockdown rules. Oh, and there’s a rumour that a local hairdresser (non-essential) has now started selling individually packaged tea (essential!?!?) in a bid to return to business. These are just 3 examples from the small high street in my village.
Shops are not the only culprits. Individuals are also resisting lockdown 2.0. I’ve seen on social media that people are meeting in big groups and, more astonishingly, many are beginning to resist the concept of isolating and mask-wearing all together – although these are still thankfully the vast minority (I hope).
So I ask the question: What’s the point of this lockdown if very few are taking it seriously? With responsibility being placed on the public to abide honestly and willingly to the rules set out as a response to soaring infection rates, it’s clear that many are unable to do so. I question the ability of the average person to act selflessly with the aim to protect members of their society who are vulnerable to this disease and I am constantly reminded that many are often only interested in themselves and those directly around them.
This is where my frustration arises. As a member of the vulnerable category myself and of a distinct community of people who have received transplants, are waiting for one or who have other incurable illnesses, I know that life for us will not go back to normal until this virus is under control. I also know that this will not happen if people continue to flout the rules as they have been during this half-hearted and so far, pointless lockdown. In a way, we are relying on our communities and perhaps the healthier members of our society to take a stand to make the world a safer place for us all and not to live their lives at the expense of ours.
I have felt so incredibly fed-up and disheartened recently listening to and reading the testaments of people who “don’t believe in lockdown” and who aren’t worried because “only the old and vulnerable are badly affected” compared with the stories of those who haven’t left their home for 7 months due to shielding and those who haven’t been able to visit their elderly dying parents in care homes. I read an article recently that some people are dying of loneliness.
I understand what is at stake here; people’s businesses, livelihoods, the economy and in a lot of cases, people’s mental well-being. But I honestly believe that this situation of rising cases and Covid deaths will continue to repeat itself and we will continue to be condemned to more lockdowns and restrictions until we begin to take the virus and its devastating effects more seriously.
I am aware that my comments could be interpreted as a sweeping generalisation on my part but I want to clarify that I don’t believe that everyone is intentionally ignoring the rules and revolting against the regulations for their own selfish gains. Not at all. And I understand that quite rightly, people are thinking of themselves as we all must do.
I just wanted to convey my frustrations in the hope that I could provide an insight into how some of the vulnerable community are feeling at the moment.
With that, stay safe and please abide by the rules – for the sake of us all.
See you next week,