We Can’t Take The Stress That We’ll Be Whack-A-Moled Next

The Prime Minister seems pretty pleased with his analogy for localised lockdowns and on-the-spot announcements, but it's not working for us.

Boris Johnson Whack-A-Mole

by Rhiannon Evans |
Updated on

The mole has been whacked again. If you were about to have a wedding, eyebrow wax, facial, or do anything in most of Manchester and parts of Yorkshire last night, consider those plans cancelled.

Obviously those who may now be having to cancel a wedding receptionthat was supposed to happen tomorrow have our greatest sympathies. But no matter what Boris Johnson's press conference (and last night's late night announcement) about the Greater Manchester local lockdown and pushing back everything that was due to happen on August 1 for a fortnight means to you, it's unsettling to say the least.

Because no matter whether you agree (and some will be pleased to see Boris Johnson acting quickly to attempt to prevent a second wave) or not with the policies, the government's 'whack-a-mole' approach, plus this sudden news drop leaves us with a stressful feeling that we don't know what's coming next.

It was announced - kind of - late last night that large parts of north England will be placed back into a kind of lockdown banning visits at home. But not in pubs. Or maybe pubs. And possibly gardens. It's hard to tell when things are announced on Twitter without an actual government document and the health secretary isn't sure either...

There's a lot to say about the many ways the government's communication strategy around all of coronavirus has felt lacking and our continued announcement anxiety. And, of course, this repeated cycle of confusion, where something is announced, then kind of changed, then two ACTUAL CABINET MINISTERS will go onto various morning TV shows and SAY THE OPPOSITE TO EACH OTHER, before hours of speculation until everyone gets bored is... yeah.

But on top of that, we now have to deal with this feeling that around 10pm at night, or at a hastily caused press conference we think is about one thing, and ends up being about another, we need to be on high alert for bad (or at least life-altering) news. That the whack-a-mole hammer is poised above our heads.

It seems clear to most of us that the government is hugely occupied with making sure the economy can keep moving, with the prospect of a second wave playing a quieter and slightly menacing second fiddle behind the scenes. Quite far back. Like, they bought cheap tickets off the street, back.

Anyway, the solution to containing coronavirus, while making sure we can still EAT OUT TO HELP OUT, the government seems to think is localised lockdowns. Leicester was first. Now around 4.5million people across Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and West Yorkshire have been banned from meeting indoors (unless they're in a social support bubble).

In PMQs on July 1, Boris Johnson referred to this as a 'very effective whack-a-mole strategies have been put in place'.

You can tell, from the amount of times it's been repeated, the government are pleased with this analogy. But to us it's pretty terrifying - especially when it's a game that gets played around 10pm at night if so far is anything to go by. And if the result could affect the way you live your life.

It happened to those in Spain on holiday - two hours later from the whacking announcement, if you arrived home, you'd have to isolate for two weeks. There have been stories of people who would've made the deadline had a flight not been delayed. Or those who would've changed plans had they been given more notice, for various reasons. Instead, those people are now stuck, locked at home, without an online shop booked - and possible a load of young kids running around while they try to return to work as planned.

It's not about whether you trust the government advice, or believe it's the right thing to do (that's a whole other article), it's that feeling that - now this has happened several times - it could be your plans changed next. With very little warning.

It takes us back into a time when you couldn't make plans, when the future was uncertain and when you never know what the next day will hold. Just as we thought we were getting to get to grips with things, and experience some freedom. It's extremely unsettling. And while many people are trying to stay away from news to lessen their anxiety, this makes you feel like you need to be plugged in at all times, just in case your area or plans have now been affected.

To crib from the government, it seems like we're living in increasingly uncertain times of Hands, Face, Space... and watch out for the whack-a-mole hammer at all times.

READ MORE: Bad News – Facials And Brow Appointments Have Now Been Postponed

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