Since March 2020, the UK has found itself trapped in what seems like a never-ending lockdown.
With the recently emerging news that lockdown will be further delayed until the 19 July there have been many questions raised about whether it is necessary to continue the delays.
Despite the disappointment surrounding the news, is there solid reasoning behind the postponement? You can certainly understand the logic behind the decision.
In regards to his Coronavirus road map, Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated that “to make it irreversible, you have to be cautious”. This makes sense. With the numerous previous lockdown rewinds and turnarounds, perhaps proceeding with caution is the most logical move. By doing this, the government will hopefully avoid future lockdown rewinds, helping to prevent further disappointment from the public.
While this is an understandable reason for delaying future restrictions, do the underlying medical concerns justify such a move? With the rising spread of the newly-dubbed Delta variant, research in Scotland has shown that the variant doubles the chance of hospitalisation as a result of infection.
From this, you can certainly understand the decision. While vaccination rates have been rising, the potential harm which could be caused by a spread of the new variant is clear.
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Hopefully, this delay will allow sufficient time to increase vaccine rollout and improve the protection rates across the UK prior to moving forward with lockdown easing.
It is easy, however, to understand the public outrage surrounding this decision to delay lockdown easing once again. For many, it has felt like the ongoing situation is unending and it has become increasingly normalised for government promises to be reversed.
Furthermore, with past questioning about the government’s handling of the Coronavirus pandemic, many people will likely feel that these claims of postponement to prevent future rewinding might not be guaranteed. It certainly wouldn’t be beyond reason to expect even more decisions to be reversed in the future.While there are clear arguments both for and against postponing lockdown easing, the one clear conclusion that can be drawn is that this delay must be the final one.
If the claims that this postponement is to prevent future reversals are to be believed, it would be fully reasonable to expect no further delays from the government.
Should lockdown easing continue to be postponed and delayed beyond the 19 July there will be justified criticism of the actions of the government and extreme frustrations. We certainly need to move out of lockdown and this needs to be the final roadblock on this journey, otherwise people will begin to think we are forever trapped in this restricted life.