As lockdown measures ease in the UK, anxiety will only grow when people are no longer required to stay at home.
First published in March 2021.
This week, parts of Britain could be hotter than Saint Tropez or Ibiza. The southeast of England could be sweating in temperatures as high as 24 degrees centigrade.
And lockdown rules are easing. In Wales, “stay local” measures have been lifted. In England, outdoor sports facilities open today, with six people from any number of households — or a group of any size from up to two households — able to meet in a garden or a park.
In essence, England won’t any longer need to “stay at home” to “protect the NHS” and “save lives”.
Scotland’s stay at home order will be lifted on Friday.
What this means for everyone is unclear.
It’s possible that people will go beserk, rushing out of their houses and into parks with large groups of friends and family.
But it’s also possible that people will be cautious, worried about big crowds after a whole year of being locked down.
In fact, as several mental health charities have said, the end of lockdown restrictions could mean heightened levels of stress and anxiety for many people.
The Guardian recently quoted Rosie Weatherley, an information content manager at Mind. She said that some of us “may be worried about ‘normality’ resuming, or not wanting to return to a faster pace with busier daily lives, and less downtime to ourselves.”
Indeed, the most recent Covid-19 social study conducted by University College London researchers found that 57% of respondents were concerned about a rise in Covid cases, but 53% were worried about the lack of adherence to social distancing.
Surely that anxiety will only grow when people are no longer required to stay at home.
No lockdown means freedom. A heady prospect. And a profoundly troubling one for some?
- What’s the roadmap for lifting lockdown? | BBC News
- Lockdown rules: What are the restrictions in your area? | BBC News
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[This piece was originally published in Medium and re-published in PMP Magazine on 29 March 2021, with the author’s consent. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]
(Cover: Pixy. / Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)