Boris Johnson has announced that cafes, pubs, bars, restaurants, nightclubs, cinemas and gyms are to close from tonight, to restrict the spread of coronavirus.
This should come as no surprise – operators of such venues were preparing to do so, if they haven’t already closed their doors.
Not only did they not want their establishments to be breeding-grounds for the spread of Covid-19; they knew that they absolutely didn’t want to turn people against them by appearing to be helping spread it.
And the simple fact is that people have been staying away in increasing numbers.
This Writer is chair of a local charity in Mid Wales and we were due to run a charity shop here for two weeks, starting last Saturday (March 14) – but we closed it down yesterday (March 19) for the reasons I mention above.
The biggest local hotel has seen a large amount of cancellations, including events and conferences.
One local pub didn’t open this week and the landlord of another had already announced his intention to close on Saturday.
All the local businesspeople have expressed concern about how they will keep going, as the measures announced by the government so far seemed not to apply to them. Odd, that…
Hopefully some of the new policies rolled out today may have changed that.
Employees will have 80 per cent of their wages paid by the government for the time being, up to £2,500 per month. This comes as a result of pressure on the Tories from unions, and should in turn take the pressure off our working people.
And business owners are getting measures to ease the burden on them while the crisis continues.
These are good policies, on the face of it – and, if we all accept and follow them, then the biggest fear as we go into enforced near-isolation, is about what to do with our time while we wait for the danger to pass.
Some of us will need to preserve our mental health very carefully.
As for others… well, to see how they pass their time, we’ll probably have to look at the register of births any time between nine months and a year from now.
The need was clear: after a decade of underfunding by the Tories, the National Health Service simply isn’t capable of handling an epidemic of the magnitude that coronavirus threatens.
Johnson tried to shrug his shoulders and tell us to expect a lot of deaths – and the response was disastrous for him.
So he had to find another solution and this is it. And on the face of it, it’s a good effort – albeit one that he had to be backed into.
But it might not save him – or us – because we don’t know how far the disease has spread while he was procrastinating and, with hospitals already running out of beds as cases multiply, we don’t know if even these measures will be enough to prevent a healthcare disaster.
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:
Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.
1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.
2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical
3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/
Join the Vox Political Facebook page.
4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com
And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!
If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!
Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.
The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:
Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:
The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here: