Coronavirus is the new flu – deal with it!
I’m no medical expert, but from reading reports about the coronavirus over the past five months it would seem we’re dealing with an infection similar to the common flu. Conflicting reports on how it is spread, how it is recorded and what deaths are an exact result of the coronavirus itself are vague at best. Nobody is clear, nobody has a united approach and the World Health Organization has failed at almost every turn.
Yes, of course, there have been deaths attributed to COVID-19, and I’m sure it can be deadly to some – as can the common flu. Underlying health issues and ongoing medical conditions can weaken the body’s immune system and leave our bodies susceptible to infection and disease. But this is no Ebola, this is no SARS.
In fact, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that flu and pneumonia killed five times as many people as the coronavirus in July. So, with the above in mind, isn’t it time to accept that the coronavirus is the new flu and allow us to get on with our lives?
The first UK lockdown was dismal. Not only did it cripple the economy but left those struggling with their mental health teetering over the edge. Can we really go through that again? I know I can’t. Luckily, I don’t suffer with any mental health issues, but I found isolating alone extremely difficult. I put on weight, felt like a social outcast, and missed my friends. A weekly family Zoom quiz was the only light relief from sheer boredom, frustration and stuffing my face (the gyms were closed). I can only imagine how those with depression or other mental health issues coped.
A second wave is on its way, and the government is already starting to impose lockdown restrictions in some parts of the country. Come October/November, it’s predicted that we will be back into a nationwide lockdown. If this were to happen, there’s no doubt in my mind that there will be a national revolt. I’m not one for protesting or showing any signs of public emotion (it’s the British in me), but the need to demonstrate my frustration at the developing situation is intensifying. Yes, I may put on my face mask and picket parliament.
That reminds me: The UK now seems to have a problem with the very thing that will give us a relative sense of freedom – face masks. The government announced that face masks won’t make a difference when the outbreak first hit our shores, so I posted all over my Facebook page that common sense tells us they will. Just think, if you’re wearing a face mask and someone coughs nearby, would you rather be wearing one or not? I know I would. In my mind, I believe the government decried the use of face masks for political reasons. They didn’t want a nation full of “burka wearing” individuals and they didn’t want to conform to a foreign world view seen in the likes of Asia. Yes, they may steam up your glasses a bit, but get over it. Who cares?
Anyway, back to the point I was making earlier. Chancellor Rishi Sunak has delivered a stark warning to Britons today amid fears France could be the next holiday destination to face coronavirus restrictions.
Amid rising cases across much of Europe, the Chancellor warned that travellers needed to be aware that the situation was under ‘constant review’ and there was the ‘risk’ of disruption. He added that the government ‘will not hesitate’ to take action by imposing restrictions on flows from countries if necessary. This means people will have to cut their holidays short to avoid a 14-day quarantine upon their return to the UK, or may even have to cancel their trips altogether.
What’s more, the increasing number of areas quarantined in the UK – Greater Manchester and Leicester – and the threat of a second wave lockdown is throwing the country into a mental health crisis, let alone a coronavirus crisis. We can’t take it again! A coronavirus death is more appealing than this existence.
Let us live our lives, let us go on holiday and allow us to take some sense of responsibility for ourselves. If not, you could see more than just protesters knocking on the doors of parliament!
Photo credit: BBC coronavirus image