What the new restrictions have gotten wrong about complex human relationships

Photo by Julian Wan on Unsplash

The new COVID-19 restrictions recently advanced by, not just, the UK government but also every other European country at the moment due to a second wave looming over us, have caused a lot of distress to many. 

With the fear of an upcoming lockdown hovering over us in the next weeks, this has gotten me thinking – what did the government get wrong about the complexity of our human relations and needs? Apart from the devastating economic impact, the uncertainty which has been embedded in our minds by now, our human need for affection and socialising are being jeopardised. Through the summer months, we were given some breathing space, we are allowed to go out again, meet again, travel again, have some good coffee, study with each other – the list goes on. And right now, I can speak from experience, that the last few weeks have had me feeling shaken –  uncertainty hanging over our heads once again: can I see my friends? When will I be able to have a nice dinner with my friends again? What about people, inevitably, have felt lonely during the times of lockdown and finally found someone they could date but now can’t anymore? These are only a few of the examples that, in a way, come to show how the new government regulations have taken on to ignore the complexity of human relationships. 

The new restrictions are uncertain, people do not know whether they can see their significant others – people they spend every day with because of the prohibition of household mixing in London – it has become complicated – if not prohibited altogether – to see people that you would otherwise see every day. This, in combination with the uncertainty and the arbitrary nature of these restrictions and the novel situation we are living through at the moment, all come together to create a dark cloud over everyone’s head.

This is not a piece criticising the new restrictions, or being critical about the new restrictions. Some have stopped socialising outside of their household, and some haven’t, some are more scared than ever and my thoughts go out to those who are.  Indeed, these are the complex relationships that render the new restrictions necessary, and I am of the opinion that, yes, these are necessary, and yes, we have to stay safe, but we also have to stay sane. This is why my heart goes out to everyone who has been left vulnerable as a result of these restrictions, as a result of the pandemic. I think taking care of each other during these times, checking up on our friends, and people who are not necessarily our close friends, also, is necessary. Being kind to ourselves and each other, doing this by looking after each others’ health: physical and mental is imperative.

So, let us find different ways through which we can be together, but apart, keep each other safe, yet, sane.

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