No one is even contemplating a quick return to normality, but it seems like Boris and his team have other thoughts. The United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson presented unusual plans to balance life amid the impact of the coronavirus outbreak pandemic. Currently, every human concurs that the outbreak is far from over, and covid-19’s rule might take even longer than what people had anticipated after the introduction of vaccines. The virus is proving to be more initiative as it keeps on rejuvenating itself and coming up with new characteristics that have made the vaccines ineffective. A new variant, termed ‘Beta Variant,’ turned up during the first jabs of vaccines. Soon after the vaccines were modified to kill the beta variant, the Delta Variant emerges and has been the main culprit in mass killings across the globe.
But this did not deter Prime Minister Boris from giving the UK citizens the green light of heading back to the normal setup of their livelihood. Coronavirus came with a new trend of lifestyle which saw people spending most of their time indoors while the governments banned all unnecessary gatherings. Sporting activities, music concerts, national celebrations, churches, and parties were removed from the calendar to curb the surging number of coronavirus infections. The arrival of vaccines gave people a bit of hope, but the emergence of diverse variants made most vaccines insoluble. Thus the world was once again plunged into despair. Despite this occurrence, country leaders allowed people to revive their economies because the lockdowns sessions were now killing the economic activities, and profits were lost.
At the present moment, people have adjusted to co-exist with covid-19. Still, they continue to live within the preventive measures laid out by scientists and health officials in collaboration with the World Health Organisation. Hence the new normal had been ‘living in a covid-19 ruled world’, and people are seen wearing their masks as regulated by the government, sanitizing, and avoiding being crowded.
In a recorded press conference address [Source], Prime Minister Johnson delivered a set of new rules that will guide people, and these ‘new’ strategies have been received with mixed emotions and opinions by people around the world. The gist of his presentation was that there should be an acceptable balance between the risks of covid-19 and “the risks of continuing with legally enforced restrictions that inevitably take their toll on people’s lives, livelihood, health, and mental health.” Restrictions have been reasonable in the fight while also damaging the livelihood of various people and dissolving social life. In the back of his mind, Boris was thinking of the extent of damage that the continuous restrictions might cause, especially given the fact that ‘no-one can live indoors for long’ while being denied any liberty to roam around. In other terms, the pandemic seems to have colonized and enslaved humanity and Boris propounded ways of freeing his citizens out of this ‘prison’ walls enacted by the virus outbreak.
He responded to those who accused him of ‘going back to normality’ too soon and challenged them to suggest a better time to normalize their country because they cannot open in winter as the virus would have an advantage. He believes that the UK only has the next few weeks as an opportunity to return to normality since it is the beginning of their summer and school holidays together with 79.1 million doses given which equates to half the population vaccinated, which will all aid to their prevention stance against the virus. He argued that if they lose this chance, 2021 will go down with people behind masks and doors while being away from their friends, family, and enjoyable places or events.
The Prime Minister doled out a 5-point plan in living with covid-19, and it included reinforcing the vaccination programs so that by September, everyone over 18 will be fully vaccinated. They also plan to strengthen the Autumn vaccination programs for all the vulnerable members of society. In his presentation, a point of concern was the removal of legal restrictions and allowing people to make their own “informed decisions” about how to best protect themselves from the virus.
Step 4 entails removing legal limits in indoors and outdoor activities like concerts and sports grounds, then end the 1-meter rule, remove the legal law to wear a mask. Still, one can do so; the government will no longer require people to work from home, no covid-19 certificate will be required to enter into events arenas and allow businesses to open.
The third step is how the health officials will continue to “test and trace” for the virus, and one has to isolate themself if found positive, secure bubbles and contact isolations for pupils are to be removed.
Other steps stated that the border restrictions would be upheld, and the quarantine of returnees fully vaccinated will be removed. If everything goes according to plan, Boris will usher the UK back into everyday living.
Some health officials believe that this freedom is only for a few weeks since the arrival of winter will undermine all these strategies. However, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) outlined that there is a chance for cases and deaths to increase if people become too relaxed with this relaxation of restrictions. Still, it did show that patients and deaths remain low at the present moment [Source]. SAGE was also concerned about the Delta variant, which has been infecting people rampantly across the globe and the coming in of any new variant. This freedom seems to be only contained in the UK, especially England, with the rest of the world suffering due to the Delta variant. Cases and deaths are increasing in most countries, and because of vaccines shortages, the effects are becoming deadly daily.
England’s Chief medical officer Chris Whitty noted that the covid-19 restrictions only delay another wave of deaths or cases and not necessarily reduce them, so it is better to open up now as they approach summer than in the autumn. He also believes that if more restrictions are to be lifted as expected on 19 July, cases might rise again [Source]. The government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance concurred with the medical officer and argued that the UK needs to keep the cases on a low level to avoid another coronavirus wave [Source].
Prime Minister has given the UK citizens a nostalgic feeling of their beloved old way of everyday living, which they miss so much. Everyone will embrace his 5-point plan so that they can go out to enjoy themselves. Giving people the power to devise appropriate ways to handle themselves against the virus might provide a massive kickback to the minister. His argument of freeing people is fair, but the consequences of having eddies of people swarming concerts and grounds can be devastating. Considering how resourceful and advanced the UK’s ‘science and health’ departments are, Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave an informed plan that thoroughly weighed against any risks. He was flanked by the Chief medical officer and chief scientific adviser during his address.
But no one can be too careful with a pandemic like this one, especially looking at its trend of dishing out strong variants more often.