Lockdown: One Year On.

It’s exactly one year today since the United Kingdom went into lockdown, 12 days after the World Health Organisation declared the coronavirus epidemic as an official global pandemic.

How has the pandemic changed the world?

In the space of the first year alone, unemployment skyrocketed, and some businesses, both essential and non-essential, were affected.

Some small and big firms went into administration, some of whom sadly ceased trading permanently due to the pandemic affecting everyone’s health and safety and well-being, both young and elderly.

The pandemic has changed the world in more ways than we imagined.

Social distancing and masking up have changed the way everyone communicates. 

With anti-vaxxerscovidiots, panic buyers and anti-maskers still at large, there’s a continued sense of ignorance that has made me, and I’m sure you feel the same as I do, look at people differently from a different perspective. 

I use those terms very loosely now compared to a year ago because panic buyers pleaded ignorance by upending storefronts and aisles consisting of toilet rolls and some foods.

The main essentials, such as soap dispensers and hand sanitisers, including large bottles of milk, were disappearing off shelves like they were going out of fashion.

It was painfully heartbreaking to witness some/most stores out of stock.

It reflected the same for us at work because we virtually had little to no stock because of panic buyers/anti-maskers/anti-vaxxers not putting the rest of us key-workers and the NHS key-workers working on the frontline first.

In the space of exactly one year since the beginning of the first lockdown, ignorance is still rife.

Anti-maskers/anti-vaxxers preach to everyone that you shouldn’t wear a mask or get vaccinated because they believe both will affect your human rights.

Personally, both groups are in no position to preach and influence everyone else not to get vaccinated or to not mask up because without both, how else would we survive?

The vaccines we have now compared to a year ago are a blessing because they provide hope.

Masks have helped reduce transmission of the original COVID variant, including the new variants and mutations that have transpired.

I acknowledge anyone with an underlying medical condition/hidden health condition recognised or unrecognised are medically exempt.

What about those who have no string of health problems/allergies and those in perfect health who plead ignorance? 

They’re the people we’ve become mindful of, as a significant fraction of people who have continued to flout the guidelines on COVID have tested positive. Some of them have died because they chose to put themselves first before others by putting everyone else’s health, including those clinically extremely vulnerable, at risk.

You might have seen videos of a massive anti-lockdown protest that took place up in London a few days ago on social media platforms.

It was awful seeing the footage surface online of anti-maskers walking in protest, not socially distancing at all, and their ignorance is what will prolong this third lockdown, not to mention a spike in COVID cases.

When the lockdown eventually ends, like you, I’ll come out of this third lockdown a different person from the person I was that went into the first lockdown a year ago because it’s changed how we all feel mentally.

Looking back on the state of play a year ago and the current state of play now, I’m warier of people and how they act, including those who continue to be ignorant influencers.

I won’t sugarcoat my true feelings by saying this to ignorant influencers.

I don’t care if you’re an anti-vaxxer. I don’t care if you’re an anti-masker, and I certainly don’t care if you’re a panic buyer or all three. I don’t care anymore.

You’re a selfish individual with ill-fated intentions if you put yourself before others by failing to protect others’ health and well-being, including those of you who see money as a top priority before anyone’s health and well-being.

I shall not apologise for speaking the truth, but I’ve changed mentally in the space of exactly a year because I’m not going to be quiet anymore about how others’ ignorance makes me feel.

If that’s a problem for anyone, they can walk away and remove their negative energy from my space because my mindset now makes no more space for negativity.

I’m hopeful for the future that there will be positive news on the horizon, and I’m optimistic that life can return to normal in the next few years as I’m hoping life can be like the way it was long before COVID.

I’m also hopeful that the next few years can eventually see life return to normal with a more positive outlook on life in general, including the lessons we all learn and have learned now so that life can be safer in the future.

The road to the end of the pandemic is still a long way to go, but I’m hopeful that employment rises and unemployment decreases, and I’m optimistic that there will be a positive light at the end of the tunnel.

One of the biggest calls-to-action I want to see is I want the government to put their funding into mental health to help everyone who’s suffered mentally due to the actions this government and all ignorant influencers have caused.

I also want to see people putting others first before themselves when the pandemic eventually reaches the end by putting anyone who’s classed clinically extremely vulnerable, including those who are registered disabled with recognised and hidden disabilities, some of whom are still unrecognised, first.

I hope that once this pandemic does eventually end, anyone and everyone has learned the lessons of this pandemic. 

Physical and mental health and well-being are things everyone will want to take seriously post-pandemic. 

We all know we never want the mistakes made now in this pandemic to come full circle again in the future.

Let’s break the cycle of a pandemic in the future by protecting ourselves and everyone around us, including those who are clinically extremely vulnerable, registered disabled, deafblind, have disabilities and conditions recognised and unrecognised, including anyone battling mental health every single day.

Millions of lives have been lost worldwide, the UK being the worst hit too, and the inevitable of losing loved ones and friends during the pandemic has become evident we all need to support one another.

We all need to be there for one another now more than ever. 

We must reach out to one another and support one another during these testing times, and I’m hopeful life will return to normal and that the lessons we learn now will shape the future to be bright and filled with positive energy and wisdom.

Stay safe, everyone, and please don’t hesitate to reach out to me about how all three lockdowns have changed you as a person mentally because you will forever matter to me, and I love you all!

Alex Smithson

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