The Queen Isn’t A Political Football To Pin An Agenda To When She’s Sick

She might have covid but the monarch isn't an example for grinning and bearing the illness while at work.

Queen covid

by Lydia Spencer-Elliott |
Updated on

Much like the BBC, the Queen does her best to be impartial. While papers love to speculate her political leanings and opinions on party leaders, (she was allegedly really irritated with David Cameron during the Scottish referendum) she never overtly publicises her allegiance to the right, left, or any of their various campaigns. She is, for all intense and purposes, non-partisan.

And when the Queen caught Covid many people were concerned. ‘Will the Queen die of Covid’ and ‘Is the Queen going to die’ became trending Google searches. But while most were looking for a Queen health update, tabloids were praising her for carrying on with her duties regardless.

‘QUEEN’S COVID EXAMPLE TO US ALL,’ the Daily Mail’s headline screeched as it lauded the monarch. ‘She tests positive at age 95 but carries on working… as Boris is set to unveil his blueprint for living with the virus today,’ the paper explained as it pointedly linked her illness to the Conservative’s new pandemic agenda to get us back to the office infected or not.

Boris Johnson has been determined to promote that idea that we should all ‘live with Covid’ and has emphasised that people should have the ‘confidence’ to go back to the office as mandatory self-isolation and free covid tests are set to stop this week.

'Covid will not suddenly disappear, and we need to learn to live with this virus and continue to protect ourselves without restricting our freedoms,' he said in a statement. 'We've built up strong protections against this virus over the past two years through the vaccine rollouts, tests, new treatments, and the best scientific understanding of what this virus can do.

'Thanks to our successful vaccination programme and the sheer magnitude of people who have come forward to be jabbed, we are now in a position to set out our plan for living with Covid this week.'

But, as many Twitter users pointed out in response to the Queen’s service through sickness: ‘It’s ok to take time off when you’re sick. Keeping on with work through illness (to the probable detriment of longer-term wellbeing) isn’t a good example to set to anyone.’

Additionally, there have been concerns that ending isolation and testing will cause a rapid increase in cases. The Queen working in Buckingham Palace is very different to a member of the public squashing onto the tube with hordes of other commuters susceptible to infection.

Under the new living with Covid plans, you can no longer claim a £500 isolation paymentand sick pay may be pushed back to the fourth day, despite the Government stating: ‘We’re not saying isolation is pointless. We’d expect anyone with an infectious disease to take steps not to spread that disease further - a colleague at work with flu, for example.’

And while many employers are understanding of people’s need to work from home, there are concerns that the living with Covid mentality will encourage pressure to go into work even if people aren’t comfortable, which is why ‘if the Queen’s doing it, why can’t you?’ is such a damaging narrative to perpetuate.

But aside this being problematic due to financial hardship and medical concerns, the Queen simply hasn’t consented to becoming a pawn in the ‘save the economy’ narrative. To staple a standpoint on the new Covid regulations onto her actions and insinuate she’s championing Boris’ strategy is quite evidently a blatant disregard for her non-partisan position.

READ MORE: This Is Why Some People Think We'll Get 12 Days Off Work When The Queen Dies

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