On March 23, Boris Johnson announced a nationwide lockdown in an attempt to limit the spread of coronavirus in the UK. All non-essential businesses had to close, and people were asked to stay at home unless they were going out for essential trips. The UK is still in lockdown, and it is yet to be decided when the lockdown will be lifted. Despite the restrictions, there are still people going out for non-essential journeys, demanding an end to the lockdown, and ignoring coronavirus guidelines. People defying the guidelines are often called “covidiots”.
In the US, thousands of people are actively going out and protesting against their country’s lockdown. Ignoring the social distancing rules, the protesters are flocking the streets and beaches, holding signs demanding freedom, and screaming at police officers. Billionaire Elon Musk also wants an end to the lockdown, and recently described it as “fascist”, causing a lot of controversy on social media.
The biggest anti-lockdown protest in the UK consisted of around 20 people hugging each other in front of the Met Police. One of them got arrested.
In a recent survey about the COVID-19 lockdown, 32 UK residents aged 16-35 were asked if they wanted the lockdown to be lifted now, and the majority said they did not.
The UK’s McDonald’s, Burger King, and KFC have announced that they will reopen in May. When asked if restaurants should reopen this month – even if just for delivery – 75% of the respondents said no, while 12% said yes. The rest were either unsure, wanted strict guidelines to be applied, or only wanted them to open if it’s safe to.
Furthermore, the respondents were asked if they have been going out since the lockdown began, and 20 out of 32 said they have, although the vast majority of them have only been going out for essential journeys. Essential journeys include essential work, exercise, shopping for necessities, and medical needs.
When asked if they have been personally affected by the lockdown, 75% said that they have, and shared their struggles. The respondents revealed that they have been furloughed, stressed, lost their jobs, cancelled their trips, and some are financially struggling. But the most common issue that was shared was loneliness and mental health problems.
The feeling of loneliness is very common, due to the lockdown and social distancing measures. Feeling anxious and depressed about losing a job, not seeing friends, financial struggles, and other issues related to coronavirus is very normal and understandable. NHS has shared useful tips on its website for anyone struggling with mental health during the lockdown. The tips include getting enough sleep, taking time to relax, spending less time reading or watching the news, and looking after your body.
Unfortunately, it is still not known when the coronavirus lockdown will be lifted, but Boris Johnson has prepared a plan to ease the lockdown. According to the Telegraph, primary schools in England are due to reopen as soon as June 1. As for work, Brits could return to work towards the end of May.
The majority of the British survey respondents predict that the lockdown will go on beyond June. When asked what they would do if the lockdown was lifted today, 68% said they would not resume life as before.
French President Emmanuel Macron mirrors their views, as he recently told his country that the end of their lockdown on May 11 will “not be the passage to normal life” and there will be a “recovery that will need to be reorganised”. In the UK, Health Secretary Matt Hancock recently announced that the government is planning to slowly return the country back to normal.
The lockdown started on March 23, and there are currently almost 30,000 coronavirus deaths in the UK. Whether the lockdown should have begun sooner is debatable, but there is finally an answer to a question that many people are asking: Is the lockdown working? From the survey results, 27 out of 32 Brits believe that it is working. They are right.
This month, a bar chart was released of data up to May 4, showing the number of daily coronavirus fatalities in the UK. The chart revealed a downward trajectory of coronavirus deaths, indicating that the government’s lockdown is actually working. The fatality count on May 4 (288) was the lowest recorded toll since March 29 (214).
Moreover, Boris Johnson recently announced that the UK is past the peak of COVID-19 outbreak, as he prepares his plan to reopen schools and restart the economy soon. However, Johnson stressed the country must not risk a second spike, and wants people to continue wearing face masks once the lockdown is lifted. There is currently no vaccine for coronavirus, but vaccine trials have started in the UK, and could possibly be completed by August.