As Boris Johnson made his latest announcement on the recent surge in Covid cases this week, you can’t help but to think here we go again.
The government have been accused of flouting Covid regulations on multiple occasions, whilst the country was in strict tiers and lockdown which was rightly, met with fury from people across the country.
“They literally look as if they are laughing at us.” exclaimed ITV presenter, Tom Bradby, when he broke the news of government officials laughing about the alleged Christmas party, echoing the views of the public.
For this reason, it’s no surprise the government is hesitant to put the country under any further restrictions, given that this aforementioned loss of trust may stop people following the rules.
However, now this leaves the moral decisions of whether to socialise directly to the individual, which could be detrimental to our mental health and create a further divided nation.
It’s been recommended by some government officials that the best thing to do before socialising or going to crowded places is to do a lateral flow test. But supply issues and increased demand, has left many people unable to get their hands on a test.
This raises the conundrum of whether to go out without testing, or to stay at home. For many people with vulnerable family members or who don’t feel safe going out this leaves them with no choice but to stay at home.
The increased isolation and loneliness of the past couple of years has caused resentment amongst people about the handling of the pandemic. The perceived repetition of the pandemic could be a particular trigger for those suffering with their mental health and research is being conducted to monitor suicide rates during lockdowns.
When Boris Johnson held his conference earlier this week, Twitter users were quick to point out the similarities between him telling businesses to “ride out” the Omicron wave with his speech in March 2020 where he had planned to take Covid-19 “on the chin”.
For business owners who are experiencing staff shortages and less customers due to rising cases and people avoiding crowded spaces, it’s becoming harder for them to ride it out. This loss of custom, could be disastrous for small businesses who are reliant on a constant flow of customers to keep them afloat.
There isn’t an easy solution for this. But there must be another option.
This nonchalant perceived freedom we have been given is leaving individuals struggling to decide between celebrating important events with their friends or staying home so as to not risk catching Covid and this will eventually going to take a toll on society’s mental health.