With the UK pandemic continuing and more restrictions coming into place, the vast majority of the public are becoming more frustrated with what is actually “right” and “wrong”. In tier 2, you must not meet socially indoors with people who live outside your household, and that includes long term, well-established relationships. But the question is, does this make the country safer, or is it allowing another risk in which peoples mental healths plummet?
Matt Hancock on the 30th of November stated; “I understand the impact on people who are in long term relationships…indoors you should only be mixing with those in your household”. one response from the public to this was; “The government has thrown my mental health right in the bin, they really expect us to meet up, after working or studying, in a park, in the dark, and too keep 2 meters away from each other!”. The fact Mr Hancock verbally shows that he can see how it impacts the public negatively yet continues to carry on with the restriction shows just what sort of things the government is interested in keeping safe.
Numerous surveys and statements have enquired that mental health has been completely messed around with by members of the parliament. with rough statistics stated by the lancet, they showed that during this global pandemic suicide rates have gone up. They quoted, “3793 suspected suicides were recorded with an unadjusted monthly rate of 14·85 deaths per 100 000 people (from Jan 1, 2015, to Jan 31, 2020) before the declaration, and 443 suspected suicides were recorded with an unadjusted monthly rate of 14·07 deaths per 100 000 people (Feb 1, 2020, onwards) after the declaration.”
With the government consistently changing the rules and restrictions, the idea of the unknown puts the public into a frenzy of panic. Is it immoral for the government to act out on their opinions in which they believe is best for the public – when the public already know what is “right” for themselves. The government have failed to acknowledge that limiting social contact may provide more of a risk to an individual than if they were to be in contact with someone.
This rule that has been announced for established relationships where they are only being allowed to see each other outside, and with distance, has been described by the public as “ridiculous” and “contradicting”. A lot of couples also work together in the same building but can’t meet them in their own homes where it is statistically and factually a lot safer.
Meanwhile, children are going to school and back home again, workers are in factories and manufacturing, in offices and shops. These are at far greater risk and yet the government states that seeing your significant other is dangerous. This is can easily be argued as nonsensical and damaging.
In the conference, it was stated: “you should also avoid; physical contact, being close, face-face, and shouting or singing close to them”. This quote came across as hysterical to many and the public responded in many ways which related to humour, one person reacted to it by saying, “thank god my boyfriend and I live together so I can shout and sing to him”.
With many people not listening to this silly rule and restriction of the government, others are struggling to handle their mental health by being away from their loved one.