We need a full national lockdown NOW! – Conservative Article
Recently, Boris Johnson announced the tiered system of local lockdowns; medium, high and very high. He also announced that Liverpool will be going into tier three (very high), and Nottinghamshire into tier two (high). Places with existing local lockdowns will go into tier two. However, these measures don’t go far enough.
In a news conference later on, Chris Whitty admitted that he wasn’t confident in the tier three restrictions. To me, this shows that the government has completely lost control of the virus and they don’t know what to do. We clearly haven’t learnt anything during the first wave of COVID. If we had, we would be more on top of the virus than we are right now.
Further backing up the theory that the government does not know what they’re doing is the fact that they are reluctant to target the right people. Right now, the current spike in cases is being driven by students returning to university. These spikes were completely predictable however, the measures were inadequate. This means students were meeting up with friends and going out. I was one of them.
We have collectively driven up cases. But instead of targeting the number of households people could visit both inside and out, the government made it six people, meaning people from six different houses could meet. Later on, when that rule did not work, the government targeted hospitality by putting a curfew on them. This led to scenes like this across the country. Surely this was predictable as well. This now brings us back to the new local lockdown rules.
These measures are toothless. As mentioned above, Whitty has already voiced his disagreement. It would seem Sage thinks the government has not gone far enough either. They called for a short lockdown weeks ago. To me, this shows that the line “we’re following the science” is a lie. If that were the case, we would have already had the circuit breaker lockdown. But because of the incorrect measures chosen, the inevitable second lockdown will have to be for longer.
The tier two and three measures announced are too little too late. Especially because pubs selling food can stay open, and people in tier three areas can still meet in limited areas. That severely limits the effectiveness of these measures. The tier three rules need to be amended to close all pubs and restaurants, regardless if they sell food or not. At the very least the ban on households meeting should be extended nationally and should be a total ban.
The nature in which these measures are coming in doesn’t help either. Instead of doing a big thing at once to stem the tide, small measures are being incrementally introduced every few weeks. This further allows for the virus to get out of control and makes a second lockdown all the more devastating economically when it comes. Now, while I am sure the curfew measures are big for the hospitality sector, it doesn’t make me change my everyday behaviour. For many others, it has changed it for the worse.
The only way that this precarious situation can be salvaged is for a full national lockdown. This would represent a complete failure in government policy in the past few weeks, as it is clear Johnson wants to avoid it. But we cannot continue on our current path. Because if we do, deaths and hospitalisations will continue to rise. They are already higher than in March. Cases are currently spiking among students but it will eventually spread to the elderly and the vulnerable, which will hit the NHS in the winter. This would be devastating. The NHS already struggles in winter.
To those who say this would kill the economy – yes of course it would hurt it. But to prevent this, more government support would be needed. Rishi would need to provide the proper furlough again and more support. Because yes, if no support is given then businesses will die. They might not survive even with support. But the economy will regenerate. People who lose loved ones will never get them back.
We need a national lockdown again. Keep schools open, because that would devastate children’s education, but everything else needs to close.
Written by Junior Conservative Writer, Kieran Burt
Point of Information
A national lockdown will not solve the problem, only make it worse – A Liberal Response
It is unrealistic for Kieran to call for a full national lockdown. Large swathes of the country are experiencing a decrease in cases. Not only this, but the majority of increased cases are occurring in concentrated areas.
Calling for full-scale national lockdown ignores the real and pervasive consequences of Eat Out to Help Out, a pathetic track and trace system and contradictory and unclear self-isolation rules. These are the real cause of the second wave.
I am however in complete agreement that the decision to close pubs and restaurants at 10pm is a stupid one. Its effect has been wholly negative both economically and socially. All it does is encourage people to socialise at home, drunk, with no social distancing.
Furthermore, considering the huge upheaval a full-scale lockdown would bring and the apathy the general population is feeling, I would argue its success would be limited. A national lockdown does not address or even attempt to solve the long term systemic issues that will inevitably cause further 3rd, 4th and even 5th lockdown.
The key to this issue is understanding and accepting that Covid will be with us for some years. We must also learn from other countries success stories on how to tackle the virus. However, a circuit breaker full national lockdown is as effective as a plaster on a stab wound. It may give the impression of helping, but it does not solve the problem.
Written by Guest Liberal Writer, Lucy Severn
There is no other option. England needs to follow the Welsh lead – A Labour Response
I respect Kieran’s criticism of the government throughout this article. I too have been critical of their coronavirus response.
I have retained countless times that hindsight would prove to be a wonderful thing in the case of a second wave. Now it’s here however, I couldn’t have been more wrong. I agree with Kieran; the government have lost control of the virus. They seem to always be one step behind it.
Without sounding like a broken record, I think Wales (and Northern Ireland) has the right approach. This Friday, Wales will begin their 17 day “firebreak lockdown”, imposing stricter regulations on the whole country. Admittedly, I was rather happy to be away at university and not at home in the Welsh Valleys when I heard this news. But that is not to say I don’t think it’s the right decision.
Now is the right time for a lockdown both in Wales and across the UK. Why? Kieran answers this; cases are rising, and the current restrictions just don’t cut it.
The Welsh government has certainly taken the right approach. They have taken into consideration some important factors. Namely, secondary schools will undergo online teaching for one week after half term and businesses will have access to financial support. Adults living alone and single parents will also be allowed to join another household, recognising the inevitable impact of this lockdown on mental health. Of course, this will not prevent the worsening of mental health across the board, but it’s a start.
I understand a full lockdown will be challenging (‘challenging’ being somewhat of an understatement), but what other option is there? At least with the whole of the UK in lockdown, the government can adequately prepare a more cohesive set of restrictions to implement moving forward.
Written by Co-Chief Labour Writer, Abi Clargo