Whilst many people are excited by the thought of “Freedom Day” on July 19th - aka the removal of face masks and UK social distancing restrictions - I for one am not…
Now I don’t mean to sound like a party pooper, but has Covid just magically disappeared overnight?
NO, I didn’t think so.
Firstly, I hate the word “Freedom Day” - because that is certainly not the case for many clinically vulnerable people across the UK. If anything, the easing of these rules will cause an even stricter lockdown for many people out there with disabilities.
Whilst I appreciate we are all fed up of certain restrictions, I can’t help but feel like this latest “guidance" is an excuse for people to go wild, and for our Government to take less responsibility in providing support services. For example priority supermarket slots have ended, PPE in the workplace is no longer required and furlough opportunities will also cease.
According to the Office for National Statistics, disabled people accounted for 60% of all Coronavirus deaths in England last year. This is an incredibly frightening percentage for people like myself who have weakened immune systems, and for those who have been shielding from the very beginning.
Over the course of this pandemic I have been fairly vocal about my feelings, in both a positive and negative light. I’ve done several TV and radio interviews, as well as writing many articles about the effects of the pandemic on those with disabilities.
Here is a piece I recorded this week with BBC Radio Cornwall:
Whilst I am no longer shielding to the extent I was last year, I am still being very cautious. Of course I want a taste of my old life back again… but I would much rather keep myself, as well as my friends and family safe first.
No doubt my opinions on this issue will cause many people to disagree. However, when it comes to my health I can't afford to take the same risks as others. It’s all about finding that balance between living our lives, but also respecting those boundaries.
I for one will continue wearing my face mask in public places for the foreseeable future... and you shan't be seeing me in any nightclubs just yet!
What are your thoughts? How do you feel about this so-called “Freedom Day”?