Who is ‘Loving Lockdown?’
Dispelling the myth for the people who are not enjoying lockdown
The UK has been in lockdown for four months now, and for almost all of this time millions of people have been placed on the government job retention scheme. It has been a fantastic programme which has saved potentially millions of jobs, and will continue to do so until its conclusion in October.
Other aspects of the governments dealing of the pandemic has not been as effective.
The regulations from the Conservative Party has often been unclear and transparent. We have been told to stay at home but go out when possible, to go to work but only when it is possible to, and the two metre rule is now less than two metres but we have to still maintain two metres where possible. It is chaotic and it is why the UK has muddled through, and 45,000 people have lost their lives to the virus.
Another frustration born out of the furlough scheme is a notion from some people who have worked all through the lockdown. These people have worked hard in key worker roles during this unprecedented time, but many seem to think that those on furlough have been placed their by their own choice. Why would so many people take the choice not to work? Especially those starting out in their career. It is an obnoxious thought to have. It is great that they have worked during this time, but criticising those who have been unable to do the same is not the attitude to have.
Last week, Boris Johnson didn’t help matters. During Prime Ministers Questions, the PM stated that some people have enjoyed lockdown. This may be true, it has given the opportunity to reconnect with each other, but it reeks of an out of touch comment from a man who, lets be honest, will not be close to anyone who is deeply affected by being in the lockdown. Of course people within his circle will be enjoying lockdown; they will have much more space and freedom in which to enjoy it. His comments only add to this idea from non-furloughed workers that the majority of those on the job retention scheme have treated the last four months as a paid holiday.
When the job retention scheme draws to a close, it will bring to an end a fascinating chapter in the history of UK society. Many jobs will be lost as a result of the economic downturn, but this could have been a much worse total. The economy and jobs market of the UK will pick up when the lockdown is over and the confidence of the people returns. When this does, we will all be in the same boat, and the time for degrading those who were forced onto furlough to save their jobs will need to be a thing of the past.
We can be thankful to the government for this scheme, but at the end of the day it is the thinnest of silver linings on the huge cloud of the UK’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.