Day 50: ‘Over the weekend I saw a few articles, one from Italy and one from Greece – both of which made me embarrassed for our country’

Contributor: Jennifer

I haven’t written on here for a little while, as each time I went to write something I found it to be a rant of disbelief or I dint see it as being noteworthy – i.e. nothing is different. However, I’ve just noticed that in itself is different. We have all become used to the way that things are now – the Teams’ meetings and video chats with family and friends have become a part of our lives for 7 weeks now. Time in lockdown hasn’t been measured in days for a while now, and at the end of this week we can count it in months. On a personal note, I think we are still coping well, there are few days where we need to be in seperate rooms, and there are more then enough pet projects that we can work on individually.  Socially we have been busier than ever, with friends from different friend groups wanting to chat or catch up. After the 4th late night in a row last week, we are feeing as tired as our busiest weekends feel. 

Over the bank holiday, there was a build up an anticipation as to what Boris may announce; some hoping for change and others desperate for things to stay as they are for a bit longer. In my mind it is simple – we have China and Italy as roadmaps of how the virus may progress and the timeline that may follow. Now the UK having the largest death rate in Europe, I feel that we should take the Italian model and apply caution to it – but what do I know? However, it feels like Boris’s vague and conflicting speech has left people more unclear as to what is expected of them, and his all too frequent comments on how we have successfully overcome is leaving the public with an air that this is over. In contrast, the policies and changes that may be coming in the weeks ahead such as closing our borders (!) feel like the virus hasn’t yet hit. 

Over the weekend I saw a few articles, one from Italy and one from Greece – both of which made me embarrassed for our country. The Italian article was a man talking about the lockdown being lifted and how they were just coming out the other side (interesting to note the timing since the Italians were seen as being two weeks ahead of us). He was commenting on how they couldn’t believe the details coming from the UK to do with death rates and PPE issues, and how when they were in the grip of the virus, they saw the relaxed and delayed reaction from the UK government. The next article came from Greece – a country whose financial issues have been widely publicised for some time and yet they have had 150 deaths total – we are still getting more then that daily! They recognised early the impact that the covid virus was having around the word and acted so that their health service wasn’t at risk – knowing that their fragile economy was only just recovering. Both of these articles were a shock – not that long ago we were looking at ‘poor Italy’ dealing with that terrible virus and now that is us to other countries. Hopefully ‘poor Greece’ and their fragile economy won’t be the next thing for us. 

I think this is Boris’s view too – that the economy cannot take much more of a hit, but I fear that will be something we have little control over now. At the point where we had the control, the time where the actions would have made the biggest impact; we as a country delayed and looked on in horror at the wave of illness that was about to hit us. The Boris who got stuck ziplining over London for the 2012 Olympic games was a bit of a joke, but as PM it just isn’t funny anymore. 

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