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Word On The Street: Anger, Frustration and Uncertainty is the Reaction To Lockdown

Published on: 2 Nov, 2020
Updated on: 3 Nov, 2020

Christmas lights being erected in the High Street. Will we still be in a Covid-19 lockdown on December 25?

By Hugh Coakley

People in Guildford today (November 2) were reacting to the government’s announcement over the weekend for another national lockdown.

Some expressed support for the government position but more were critical of the uncertainty over the extended restrictions which they thought had come in too late or were unnecessary.

Owner of The Gate Boutique in North Street, Liz Trendle said : “I just hope people will support the businesses. Shop local.”

Guildford resident Giles Nathan said: “The whole point [of the first lockdown] was to avoid further lockdowns. I feel angry especially as the infection rate in Surrey is so low. This is going to be different from the lockdown in March when we were all in it together. It is going to be more mentally challenging.”

A shopper told The Dragon: “I’m irritated. I’m torn between our region not needing to go into a severe lockdown and the fact that it could have been a two-week lockdown over the half-term.”

A young Guildford resident who didn’t want to be named, said: “It is a moral dilemma. I don’t want to be looking for loopholes but why should I put my life on hold when it isn’t affecting me. It’s frustrating.”

A busy Monday in the High Street. It will be deserted on Thursday at the start of lockdown.

Traders and shop staff said that they were not clear what was happening. Shops in White Lion Walk who believed they were classed as essential, said “they were in limbo” until the shopping precinct confirmed whether it would remain open after Thursday.

Operations manager for the White Lion Walk Sam Orledge said: “We are waiting for the landlords to give us confirmation of what they want us to do.”

Most cafes and food outlets spoken to were planning to continue with a take-away service. Owner of Fresco Delikafessen in Friary Street, Dimitrios Lazaridis, said: “We have a website and we are setting up with Deliveroo and Uber Eats.” But Bombay Buzz next door said “It’s amazingly tough for new starters but we have no choice, we have to pay the bills. It’s quite likely we will go under.”

Timpson manager Kevin Rossiter said: “I feel sorry for Guildford town and the families.”

Timpsons shop manager Kevin Rossiter said: “We might be considered essential because we cut keys but I’m personally not sure what’s going on. I’m going to turn up on Thursday and open the shop unless I’m told otherwise.”

Dimitrios Lazaridis of Fresco Delikafessen is setting up with Deliveroo and UberEats.

The owner of Sis & Bros cafe in White Lion Walk, Shahram Ekbatani, said: “I’m disappointed and angry. We are going to lose the golden period leading up to Christmas.

“The first lockdown didn’t work and they are likely to extend this one beyond December. We don’t need a national lockdown, we need to control critical spots like pubs and bars and people gathering.”

The owner of the new cafe and cocktail bar in Tunsgate, Tom Flanagan, said: “The guidelines are not clear, the furlough is not clear. It is frustrating. It’s going to be the science that gets us out of this.”

Local artist Robin Mullen, who has a new gallery in Market Street, said: “I can understand the necessity but it’s difficult. The government can’t win. Trade will come back as Guildford is resilient. It will be a telling time though when the business rates come back next April.”

Owner of Tattam’s in Tunsgate, Tom Flanagan, said: “It’s going to be the science that gets us out of this.”

The lead councillor for economy on Guildford Borough Council, John Redpath (R4GV, Holy Trinity), said: “Having another lockdown is of course of great concern but this one may well be more damaging than the last with less chance of reducing the spread of the virus.

“First, this is because there is a lot of confusion among residents and businesses as to exactly what the rules are for this partial lockdown and second, schools and colleges will remain open.

“Entertainment and retail will take the brunt again and there’s currently no mention of any bailout money for sectors like these. The borough council and our partners will, as before, continue to be on standby to help where we can.”

Busy in Friary Street on Monday, November 2 but takeaways only from November 5.

The CEO for Experience Guildford, Amanda Masters, said: “This is the worst possible time this could happen.

“Businesses must strengthen their online presence. This is not a time to back off from ‘the dreaded internet’. Experience Guildford are working with other partners including Guildford Borough Council to provide the support they need to do this.

“I implore Guildford shoppers to carry on supporting our town centre by ordering online with our businesses and leaving great reviews. It means so much right now.”

Dr Catherine Huckle, a teaching fellow at the University of Surrey’s school of psychology, who has written about the psychological implications of the latest lockdown, offered the following: “One of the most challenging elements is the continuing uncertainty and the lack of control we have over certain elements of our lives.

“Some of the things that protect our mental health are removed, such as meeting friends or taking part in sports. We need to meet the basics of mental health and be creative. These are sleep, exercise, social connections, eating well and balancing our time between activities that give a sense of achievement and activities that are purely for fun or relaxation.

“We don’t need 24-hour news updates, once a day (or even less) is enough and a constant flow of information can keep our threat system activated and increase our anxiety. Covid is an exercise in practising uncertainty – we don’t know what will happen, we can focus on one day at a time and “this too shall pass.”

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Responses to Word On The Street: Anger, Frustration and Uncertainty is the Reaction To Lockdown

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    November 3, 2020 at 11:43 am

    Why do we have anger at our government?

    Back last January we were told of a world pandemic, “quarantine with self-responsibility” was the way forward. We needed to keep two-metre distance and wash our hands. The continued message throughout, now with mask-wearing added. Just how many understood the words “pandemic” and “quarantine” can be demonstrated by the number of “gatherings” still occurring across the country.

    Am I angry? Yes. To those individuals who said “Sod everyone else, I’m not changing my way of life for a non-existent virus which does not affect me,” well what did you expect?

    They will be the first to complain if more drastic measures have to be introduced and still some will continue to party regardless.

    You simply can not teach stupid.

  2. S Callanan Reply

    November 3, 2020 at 12:43 pm

    “It is a moral dilemma. I don’t want to be looking for loopholes but why should I put my life on hold when it isn’t affecting me. It’s frustrating.”

    It is affecting you and it may get worse. I don’t know in what exact respects this young resident’s life has been “put on hold”. If pubs, clubs, restaurants and gyms aren’t open, opportunities for “life” may seem limited. But if next year they find themselves without any source of income and competing with another 900+ people for a job in a bar, “a moral dilemma” will be an unaffordable luxury.

    But I wish them well as I do everyone else. Look after yourselves and those close to you and hope we all come through this in one piece and with an economy strong enough on which to rebuild.

  3. Dave Middleton Reply

    November 3, 2020 at 2:25 pm

    Well said Jim Allen.

    People are quick to blame the government for the rise in infections and deaths and the restrictions being placed upon us, but it’s the people who disregard the restrictions and rules, meet in large groups, have raves and street parties, don’t mask up when required, don’t self-isolate when required to do so, that have got us to where we are now.

    Continual political sniping by all parties and individuals within the government itself, hasn’t helped and the constant stream of so-called “experts” that no one’s ever heard of, being dragged out by the media to argue against the Government’s scientific and medical advisers, serve only to undermine and confuse.

    With regards to facemasks, most of those claiming exemption on medical grounds need to get a grip too. Over the past months I’ve heard many medical experts, including respiratory and cardiac specialists, say that if you are so poorly that a bit of thin fabric over your mouth and nose affects your breathing so badly that you can’t cope, you shouldn’t be out and about anyway.

    As for the morons who refuse to wear a mask as, “It’s against my human rights,” or “The Magna Carta says I don’t have to,” well, give me strength!

  4. Monica Jones Reply

    November 3, 2020 at 6:16 pm

    I beg to differ from Dave Middleton. I don’t think people are blaming the government for the rise in infection, although indirectly they themselves are.

    What the government is being blamed for is poor management, poor communication and poor use of our taxes by awarding contracts to inexperienced companies without carrying out the established tendering procedures for contracts and above all for treating the electorate as stupid by giving false information as to when vaccines will be ready and when “it’s all likely to end”. Plus telling us we are all in it together when clearly we are not.

  5. John Perkins Reply

    November 4, 2020 at 12:45 pm

    To those who call others “morons” and “stupid” for holding alternative views, although I’m not a religious man, I suggest a little Christian attitude might be appropriate. Beams and motes in eyes and the sufferance of little children spring to mind.

    With regard to selfishness, which is worse: to want to enjoy the pleasures of youth and hope for the future or to demand others forgo those things in order to maintain one’s own life for a couple more years?

    As an old and obese man, I would prefer to die than deny someone younger the life I’ve been lucky enough to have. I might even consider it worthwhile if it allowed children to hug their grandparents.

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