When the process of lockdown began there was general consensus, among politicians, ‘experts’, the media, employers and employees, and the wider public that this was the right way to go. As time has gone on, we have heard debate among those different groups on how and when to ease the restrictions. We have also seen different parts of Britain ease restrictions at different times and in different ways. In some ways it is ‘natural’ and healthy to have debate and differences of opinion, particularly as this is an unprecedented experience – we cannot simply look up a textbook to find out exactly what steps to take. It may also be appropriate to ease restrictions at different times according to the circumstances in different areas. It can however be very confusing for the wider public, who are looking for certainty not debate, and are worried both about catching the virus and about the effects of lockdown. There are also a small minority of individuals and groups that want to exploit differences for their own ends. Hard as it is, we have to understand that it is OK for ‘experts’ or politicians or whoever to disagree – it may well be beneficial in the long run. We also have to watch that at the same time we all remain committed to eradicating (or at least controlling) the virus, and restoring life to a new normality.
Lord, it is hard to cope with lockdown, and hard to cope with the debate and disagreement over easing the restrictions. Help us all to keep the key objectives in mind, and to keep trusting each other, and those who are working out how we go forward.