Boris’ 10 pm curfew backfires?

Matthew Davy, Staff Reporter

On Wednesday, September 9th 2020, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson initiated a nationwide curfew as a result of a large spike in coronavirus cases.

Coronavirus cases have been on the rise over the past two months in the UK with daily new case numbers averaging roughly 6400, exceeding previous records from April when the virus was said to be at its peak. These numbers are worrying seeing as students have been returning to school as a result of Boris Johnson’s initial attempt to bring back normality in society. The increase in case numbers may have shown how Boris Johnson’s haste was detrimental.

Boris Johnson’s intention behind the curfew was to eliminate the UK’s lively nightlife, which was deemed one of the greatest risks in the spread of the virus. However, the general consensus to this concept was very negative, with the conservative party dubbing it, “a sick experiment to incubate a second wave,” and the Mayor of Manchester, Andy Burnham, believing that it would, “shift partying into people’s homes.” Consequently, Mayor Burnham called for an ‘urgent review’ of the curfew.

The failure of the curfew has brought to light its validity. It is believed that Johnson never fully discussed the curfew with scientific advisors. 

When asked about his involvement in the implementation of the curfew, Professor Graham Medley, one of the members of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) made it very clear that he “never discussed it or heard it discussed.” 

His colleague in the group, Professor John Edmunds, also said that the idea was, “fairly trivial,” and would have a, “very small impact on the pandemic.” 

Whether or not Johnson had full approval is unknown, however scientists and leaders have labeled it ‘counterproductive’ and reportedly had other concepts and ideas that may have been more effective.

Johnson himself had suffered from the virus, diagnosed in March, and had to be moved into intensive care. The British public, as well as people from around the world, were supportive of him, hoping for a full recovery, which he did have. 

In an interview with Nichole Aguinaldo, a 16-year-old UK high school student, she mentioned how it is, “unusual how a victim of the virus would not take it’s control seriously,” and mentioned how she, “does not feel safe with school continuing at full capacity.” Her criticism of Johnson’s leadership speaks volumes about his capability in leading the fight against this pandemic.

A decision will be made within the next two weeks on whether or not the curfew will remain, as well as some of Johnson’s other strategies currently in place. It is evident that the prime minister has a lot of work to do in regaining the trust of his nation who are in fear of their personal safety under his current leadership.