Why are we in another lockdown?
On January 14 2021, the UK recorded 48,682 COVID cases, with a daily average infection rate of around the same amount which is alarmingly high when considering the rate of infection in other countries such as France, Germany and Italy. However, that number was so much greater at the start of the year, before PM Boris Johnson announced the third lockdown, and data suggests that lockdown is starting to have an impact on the spread of COVID-19.
Public Health England (PHE) have indicated that the infection rates have fallen across most regions in England across all age groups. This implyies that the lockdown truly is having some positive effects on society, and possibly if the cases fall further, the lockdown may be called into review by the government.
There may be some light at the end of the tunnel after all as health secretary Matt Hancock announced on the 11th January that the UK is presently making plans to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of this month. Of course, student’s shouldn’t expect to be treated with the vaccine any time soon as currently they are administering it only to those over 60 and key health care workers. However, the fact that they have begun this process means that in the coming weeks, the rate of infection will undoubtedly reduce.
The process for us to come out of this lockdown is likely to be a slow one as was mentioned by the health secretary. He implored the public to continue adhering to the current rules that are in place to ensure that we as a nation tackle the infection rate swiftly and hopefully come out of this lockdown sooner rather than later.
When will we be out of lockdown?
At the current rate of infection, it is most likely that this lockdown may continue till March 2021. However, there is a chance that if we stick to these basic guidelines that we may be able to see the lockdown end sometime sooner as the details of the restriction are said to be constantly under review by both the government and the opposition:
- ALWAYS WASH YOUR HANDS
This simple rule is still valid in 2021 and it is an easy way to maintain good hygiene even if we weren’t in a global pandemic. It might be helpful to carry around a small bottle of hand sanitiser with you as well.
- MAINTAIN THE 2M DISTANCE
In certain instances, I wonder how I am to keep a 2m distance with someone else in public, like say in a tram or a bus! But when you can, always try to make sure you give space and keep the distance.
- SNEEZE/COUGH INTO YOUR ELBOW
It still amazes me how so many people still do not follow this common rule in simple public etiquette. This is a basic sign of respect to others and yourself in public and should be followed not just in the time of a pandemic.
- DON’T FORGET YOUR MASK
It’s become the staple now when you leave the house; phone, keys, wallet/purse, mask. Plenty of people follow it already and the fact that they have become almost a fashion statement helps too. So, find a way to personalise it, that way you won’t ever not want to wear it.
- ESSENTIAL: REFRAIN FROM MEETING FRIENDS OUTSIDE YOUR SOCIAL BUBBLE
This has got to be the toughest task out of all of them, but it is ESSENTIAL to follow. However, this is the quickest way to stop the spread, and the sooner we follow these rules, the sooner we’ll be out of lockdown.
PM Johnson stated earlier this month that “as we enter March, we should be able to lift some of the restrictions, but not all at once”, implying that the exit from lockdown will not be a grand one but a gradual unwinding with the reopening of non-essential shops and eventually the reopening the hospitality industry.
That means that sooner rather than later we’ll be able to enjoy a meal at a restaurant, or have a pint at a pub, or let loose at a club or even enjoy a quiet coffee.
The sooner we go back to basics, the faster the process to come out if these restrictions will be.