19 July lifting of restrictions ignores the unvaccinated section of the population

As 19 July bears closer and closer, cases and hospitalisations are rising.

Although we will never be in the position the government was in last March and as such, we will never be able to understand those pressures of making decisions which could affect many peoples’ lives. With that being said, there is no denying the failures and faults of our government in handling the situation of our country since March 2020.

Some may argue we cannot critique the government because we don’t know if there was any other way out of this situation. But just look at the statistics. Anthony Costello shows it clearly in his tweet which displays the death rates in China, Vietnam, the US, and the UK. Yet despite China and Vietnam having a significantly larger population than that of the UK, “you cannot see the death curves in the first two because they are so low”. How could countries like China and Vietnam take control of this virus within a couple of months and our country failed so massively to do so?

The UK has been in some sort of lockdown or restriction since March 2020. I understand people want the normality a lack of restrictions provides, but half of the UK are yet to be vaccinated, and even the fully vaccinated are at risk of still contracting and transmitting the disease. I truly believe Boris’ announcement to move into stage 4 of the easing of lockdown, which results in all mandatory restrictions being dropped, is yet another mistake.

Actions such as wearing a face covering pose such a minuscule inconvenience that I see no reason as to why such a small action cannot remain enforced until at least the end of the year – especially in enclosed spaces such as public transport. Not only does this decision seem to lack common sense, but the fact that the prime minister informed us there would be 50,000 cases a day by 19 July and the health secretary Sajid Javid saying we could hit 100,000 cases a day in summer seems completely ignorant.

Johnson attempted to ease these worries by implying we can “live with the virus” because of the vaccinations. Yet half of the country is still not fully vaccinated, some not even having

received their first vaccine. Is this not a clear abandonment of the unvaccinated half of the country? A fully vaccinated country surely would hold a significant amount of power over the coronavirus rather than a half-vaccinated country attempting to fight it with no restrictions on their side.

This all-or-nothing mentality and strategy is dangerous and reckless.

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Lauren Bramwell

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June 2022
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