Crawley Observer Column, Wednesday 27th May 2020

The UK is in lockdown. Even when the UK’s Covid-19 alert level is reduced the UK will still be in lockdown. So long as the UK is in lockdown, we must remain at home as much as possible. If it’s necessary to leave home we have to maintain at least two metres of social distancing from those outside our household at all times. No exceptions.

Yet, ever since several newspapers called for an end to the lockdown and the Prime Minister announced plans for gradually reducing restrictions, we’ve seen far more people either ignoring social distancing rules or visiting public places in such large volumes effective social distancing is impossible.

At least sixty members of our community have been killed by the pandemic so far. It’s hard to believe if they had been killed in an act of terrorism or a major accident that such great numbers would treat efforts to limit the death toll with such disdain. Even before the Prime Minister made his announcement the rate of transmission was increasing and, while it isn’t making me any fans, until we see it decrease the council will not relax current restrictions.

It’s hard enough for the police and councils to ensure people continue to follow rules limiting the contagion as it is, the news that the Prime Minister’s chief adviser has repeatedly broken the very rules he helped introduce is a severe blow to this effort. In a democracy, no one is above the law and his actions have jeopardised the national fight to defeat this disease.

Similarly, our MP’s claim that MPs wanting to continue meeting remotely were ‘lazy’ and ‘work-shy’, is not only a slap in the face of the vast numbers working from home, but a deeply unhelpful public message to send when our ‘heroes’ in the NHS and other frontline roles are continuing to put themselves at risk to tackle Covid-19.

Everyone has their role to play in seeing Britain through this crisis. We have a right to expect those taking decisions on our behalf at least meet the standards they set for everyone else.

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