The Price and Value of a New Lockdown- Jessie Jordan

As we are immersed, quite suddenly, into a second lockdown, it can be hard to contemplate the actual value in doing so. As the weather deteriorates, the hopes of having a ‘normal life’ seem further in the future than we had initially thought. However, there is value in this second lockdown- Boris is not completely deranged (contrary to what we see in his speeches).

Why are we having this lockdown? As I mentioned previously, the weather is worsening, meaning that the common cold and flu are going to plague, quite literally, our day-to-day living. This, on top of coronavirus, is going to increase the number of people becoming sick, having to isolate with symptoms that appear for both the common cold and the virus. Furthermore, the health risk of having both the flu and coronavirus increases dramatically, so to fail to enforce any kind of restrictions runs the risk of many lives in the months to come. By shutting down restaurants and businesses, we are reducing the spread of the virus in communal areas. Many people have become lax in recent times, thinking that because they haven’t been affected, it’s not as great an issue as before. This is certainly not the case, and many people are still having to isolate to protect their friends and families. Those who are vulnerable are exposed to the virus more easily by the negligence held by others, as those who carry the virus can leave traces of it in the supermarket, public transport and anywhere they come into contact with anything. By people not sanitising their hands, respecting social distancing, or wearing a mask PROPERLY (yes, that includes the nose being covered), the risk of catching the virus is much higher than one might anticipate. The scary reality of close friends having to isolate has really brought home how important it is we reduce the spread of the virus as much as possible, to protect those who may be most at risk.

However, no solution is perfect. This lockdown will run a risk for small businesses and prevent the economy working in full swing. The extension of the furlough scheme appears to be a pitiful attempt at helping the self-employed remain employed, and potentially damages the future of some businesses- like we have seen with Cineworld. Not only that, but the fear of lockdown extending over the Christmas holidays is tremendously high, and no one believes life will ever truly be the same. This panic may appear slightly exaggerative for you; however, some people do really worry about the way life will continue during this lockdown. The first lockdown brought a fair amount of sunshine, and motivation to get out and exercise. Now we are moving into Winter, people’s mental health is already suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder, so their wellbeing may be suffering already. For those who have to live alone, it may be really hard to avoid feelings of isolation and loneliness, especially for uni students and pensioners who may have a constricted lifestyle already, due to budgeting.

It is difficult to initially understand the meaning of this second lockdown, but when you break down the argument, you can see the reasoning behind it. If we all stick to the guidelines, we can hope for a shorter lockdown, and a happy reunion with friends and family in the near future. It is important to try keep busy for the next month, but the facilities RHS will provide will be instrumental to not only your wellbeing, but those around you.

And for goodness sake, please wear a mask.

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