Despite the inaction of the UK government in combatting the current crisis facing us, there are governments across the globe whose actions are far less controversial. Here I will give focus to some of the actions our government should be taking to aid us in fighting the increasingly problematic coronavirus.
Across the country citizens must get permission for even essential travel
The Italian government is well documented to have taken action by putting its populace in lockdown with travel bans and other measures despite riots and people flaunting the new rules. Across the country citizens must get permission for even essential travel, with those who lie facing fines or potentially jail sentences. People are forbidden to gather in public with only trips to supermarkets and pharmacies being sanctioned. However, despite facing the tough actions of the government and the highest death toll outside of China, the spirit of the Italian people can be seen clearly through the balcony singing throughout the country, people purely letting each other know that they are there.
the spirit of the Italian people can be seen clearly through the balcony singing
Meanwhile, the US government has also taken decisive action. To an already extensive list, the UK and Ireland have been added to the countries facing flight bans into the nation. Aside from those returning US citizens, all flights are being cancelled; returning US citizens still then facing two weeks in isolation to slow the spread of the virus. Although cases have been reported in every single state, many of those have very few cases so the current measures appear to be working somewhat to at least slow the progression of the virus. This has been vital in allowing healthcare services the time to prepare and treat each person case by case.
the UK and Ireland have been added to the countries facing flight bans into the nation
Similarly the French government has put the country ‘on a war-footing’ in an attempt to combat the virus. All non-essential movement has been banned from the 17th of March onwards for 15 days with all residents being compelled to remain at home, punishments being put in place for those who break this imposed quarantine. The military will also be used to both transport those suffering to hospitals, as well as through utilising military hospitals for the general public. They have also taken the action to postpone local elections until a safer time.
The military will also be used to both transport those suffering to hospitals
There are numerous other measures being taken by various governments, some of which are in a very similar situation to our own in terms of the number of cases, population and the rate at which the virus is spreading through the country. It is clear that our government in the UK must start taking far more action, akin to their international counterparts. The current inaction leaves the public not only vulnerable, uncertain, and at risk, but it also suggests a severe lack of leadership from our governing body. In this hour of peril, we need that desperately.
A focus on Italy: the British Government is not doing enough
I’m lucky enough to have an Uncle, who doesn’t live somewhere rubbish like Baildon, but the beautiful, isolated land of Apulia, in Southern Italy. Beautiful olive groves older than Rome, white stucco cities, and beer for a Euro. Given this virus lark, I decided to give him a ring, and see how Italy is doing at the moment.
“It feels like wartime,” he tells me, “You need a pass to leave the house, only the supermarkets and pharmacies are open. It’s like the end of the world.”
It feels sad. Bari, the city that he has lived in for twenty-five years, has always been indomitable. Few tourists, unpretentious, beautiful, and always charmingly wild. It’s hard to imagine the place cowed, the mad spirit of Italy broken, the crazy streets empty, the packed-out bars closed.
If Johnson does not take the virus seriously now, the spirit of Britain shall break as well
We talk about how it got so bad in Italy. “The problem is, Southern Italians go and work in the north, they always have. Some government gimp leaked the fact that they were planning to cordon off the north, and in one day, nine thousand people came home on the train.”
Once we all head back, the chances are we will take the virus back with us
He goes on, and criticises Johnson for doing nothing, but it is this that I find the most interesting. Both the Government and British Universities have failed to send students – who tend to live in cities, home. Once we all head back, the chances are we will take the virus back with us. The infection will spread with us, just like it spread from the north of Italy to the south. And then there will be no options, once the virus is spreading actively in every community, the government will have no choice but to put everyone under house arrest, just as the Italians have.
If Johnson does not take the virus seriously now, the spirit of Britain shall break as well. Worse, people will die. Lots of people.
Last modified: 19th March 2020