Freedom Day arrives just in time for us all to isolate
The Government’s much-heralded ‘Freedom Day’ arrived this week, but it didn’t feel like there was much to celebrate.
At one point, it looked like we might all get an extra day off, if England had managed to hold out and lift the Euros trophy.
And there has been so much anticipation about July 19, you’d have thought a similar thing might have been in the offing this week.
Monday’s much-anticipated lifting of lockdown measures didn’t come with a bank holiday after all, but Monday did give an extra day off for my daughter as her entire year was told to stay off school because of a covid-19 outbreak.
That’s been a story repeated across Derbyshire as more and more youngsters have had learning interrupted by cases in their educational ‘bubbles’.
It’s caused a headache for many parents with younger children, who have had to stay off work themselves to look after their offspring if they couldn’t sort childcare.
The app, alerting people they have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, has been pinging more often than a cold war submarine sonar.
A number of local pubs have also had to close because of outbreaks among staff – ironically at the very moment when the easing of restrictions would have allowed them to get back up to full capacity.
There has been concern among business leaders that the huge number of people being told to stay off work is having a major impact on the ability of many firms to function properly – or at all.
That number is only going to rise after this week’s changes which will see more people interacting and potentially spreading the virus.
I have no issue with the easing of restrictions, it has to happen sometime and we're going to have to learn to live alongside Covid, as we do with other illnesses and diseases.
But the current situation feels more chaos than freedom.
If we’re not careful we’ll end up in another lockdown, with businesses, bars and shops allowed to open – but all shut because their customers and staff are isolating at home.