Kingston University students urged their fellow peers to follow the government’s advice on tackling the virus if a second lockdown is to be avoided.
The UK has recorded more than 400,000 cases of coronavirus since the outbreak began in December, and the numbers are continuing to increase. As a result, the English government imposed a strict set of rules in an effort to bring the numbers down.
Sarah, a Biomedical student said: “I agree with the measures being imposed by the government. As long as you follow the government’s advice, not only you but others are safe because you never know, if you have corona[virus] you can pass it on and be responsible for someone’s death.”
Some of the rules, which are tougher than others, include: groups of no more than six people across indoor and outdoor settings; a 10pm curfew for all pubs, bars and restaurants and mandatory face coverings inside shops, restaurants and taxis.
The measures will be imposed for the next six months as Boris Johnson hopes that it will suppress the dramatic surge in coronavirus cases that the country has experienced in the last couple of weeks.
However, if people do not respect the freshly imposed rules and cases do continue to soar, Johnson warned the country that a second national lockdown could not be ruled out.
The UK Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Patrick Valance, backed the PM and explained that daily cases could hit 50,000 next month if the disease’s spread is not brought down.
Veronica, a Business Psychology student said: “It doesn’t take you that much time to wear a mask and wash your hands if you know that it could prevent a possible second lockdown.”
Veronica experienced Covid-19 from close up when a member of her family got infected.
“My aunt had severe symptoms of Covid-19, which is why it bothers me when I hear people saying that it’s fake or that it doesn’t affect them,” she said.
In addition to following rules that go against their social lives, students have to deal with the blame that is being put on them for causing the new wave of infections. Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, has recently singled out young people in the UK by telling Radio 1 Newsbeat listeners: “Don’t kill your gran by catching coronavirus and then passing it on.”
Abdulmalik Mohamed, a cyber-security with data forensics student said: “I personally believe that there is blame that comes towards us, but at the same time it can’t be 100 per cent our fault.”
Mohamed believes that the government’s mixed messaging is to blame in the recent spike of infections.
“The government has been confusing a lot, they are not giving a clear message. They should tell us in plain writing, what we should do and what we shouldn’t. They are literally saying you can go out, but you can’t go out, you can do this but you can’t do this, it doesn’t make sense,” Mohamed said.
Veronica agreed with Abdulmalik and said: “I think it’s ridiculous to just blame our demographic when it’s clear that people of older generations don’t respect the rules as well. It makes me angry because we take the blame for something that is not entirely our fault.”
The new Covid-19 restrictions may be in place for the next six months as the government attempts to lower the infection rate. Nothing has been planned for after this deadline, but there is talk of a second national lockdown if infections are still on the rise after six months.