What are we most looking forward to after lockdown?

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Covid-19 infection rate

Covid-19 infection rate / Credit: Brian McGowan Unsplash

For many across the country, the end of 2020 inspired a cautious optimism that the worst  of what the coronavirus pandemic had to offer was behind us.

However, in the weeks since, the UK has seen a sharp increase in Covid-19 cases, the death toll pass 100,000 and lockdown measures extended until March 8 at the earliest. But does this mean the public should abandon hope of a return to some normality in 2021?

While there is no short or certain answer to this, paying careful attention to British and other European governmental announcements will help to highlight what may be achievable in the next 10 months or so.

The introduction of the Pfizer-BioNTech jab and Oxford BioMedica vaccine has, by February 1, led to the vaccination of 14.42 out of every 100 people in the UK. This means that 8,977,329 vaccinations have been given to date. This is the highest number of vaccinations in Europe by some considerable margin.

While this may mean dashing the hopes of many keen to have a much-needed holiday abroad this year, it doesn’t mean that we will be subjected to the same restrictions of last year.

In a recent statement, Boris Johnson said he was “optimistic” that people will get a summer holiday this year, as the Government considers removing the tiered restriction system in favour of a national approach.

With the prime minister’s promise of a “road map” out of lockdown on February 22 he seems hopeful that Britain will “begin to steadily reclaim our lives.”

As we dare to make plans outside of lockdown, JMU Journalism’s Ryan Wykes took to the streets to see what people were looking forward to doing in a post-Covid Britain:

Nikki Murdoch, 60, said: “I’m looking forward to seeing my sister as she lives in Somerset and I can’t see her or her husband. I want to see my children in Australia as I haven’t seen them in over a year, though I don’t think that will be until 2022.”

Matt Answorth, 23, said: “I just want to be able to go out, to see a few gigs. I don’t plan on travelling abroad but I’d be happy with a few city breaks in the UK.”

Steve Mullock, 56, expressed his wishes to “start travelling around the countryside again.” He added: “We were looking forward to having days out and city breaks, which we just haven’t done for the past year. I have family all over Cheshire and I’ll be able to visit them again.”

Watch  to see what people are most looking forward to doing out of lockdown>>>

For this to be possible “some things have to go right.” The prime minister said on a visit to Batley, West Yorkshire this week.

“The vaccine programme has got to continue to be successful,” said Johnson. “We have to make sure we don’t get thrown off course by new variants, we have got to make sure that we continue to keep the disease under control and the level of infections come down.”

At this critical phase in the pandemic, it seems that while the future of Britain and the coronavirus is far from certain, if we adhere to the preventative measures given and the vaccines continue to be deployed at their current rate, we can allow ourselves a cautious optimism that the end of lockdown is drawing ever closer and we can begin to rebuild parts of our lives again.

 

About Ryan Wykes, JMU Journalism