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Saturday evening saw the UK government unveil the new slogan that is meant to send a message to the public on how to act during the lockdown restrictions. However, far from being a clear concise message, the new slogan has been met with ridicule and confusing. The devolved government’s in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast have also distanced themselves from it by saying their message remains; “Stay At Home”.
We’ve all seen the UK Government’s Coronavirus message at their daily press briefings;
“Stay At Home, Protect The NHS, Save Lives.”
This is a clear message that the general public can follow. Admittedly they did change the colour scheme of the branding after it was pointed out they had replicated the Venezuelan flag, but all the same, people understood what the government wanted the public to do, even if they didn’t listen because it got sunny.
Now however, a new message has been unveiled to replace the clear and straight forward; “Stay At Home.”
As can be seen, The colour scheme has changed from red to green, and Stay At Home, Protect The NHS, Save Lives” has been replaced with;
“Stay Alert, Control The Virus, Save Lives.”
Immediately after the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) released the graphic above, ridicule and questions immediately began to pour in.
Many people on social media asked how we are meant to “Stay Alert” to an invisible virus.
General secretary of the Communication Workers Union (CWU), Dave Ward, said:
“The messaging from this Government throughout this crisis has been a total joke, but their new slogan takes it to a new level.”
“Stay alert? It’s a deadly virus not a zebra crossing.”
It was rightly pointed out that you cannot avoid COVID-19 by merely staying alert as you have no idea where the virus is. As for ‘controlling the virus’, memes and gifs spread across social media joking about using telepathic powers to control Coronvirus.
Devolved Government’s Not Told Of New Message
First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon reacted with surprise last night as the first she heard of a new message, was when she saw it in the evening newspaper reviews.
“The Sunday papers is the first I’ve seen of the PM’s new slogan.
“It is of course for him to decide what’s most appropriate for England, but given the critical point we are at in tackling the virus, #StayHomeSaveLives remains my clear message to Scotland at this stage.”
By indicating this, it points out the hypocrisy of the UK government as; they have been keen to point out that they want ‘all four UK nations to act as one’. Furthermore, Tory MPs have lined up to criticise Nicola Sturgeon whenever she states that Scotland might not mirror England’s policies on social distancing and lockdown measures.
Political commentators also seem completely oblivious to the concept of devolution too. They can’t seem to understand why Scotland, who have approximately 300 Intensive Care Beds and a much lower NHS capacity, might not be ready to lift restrictions at the same time as 15,000 ICU bed England. For once, this is not about politics, it is about the health and well-being of people in Scotland.
The Welsh Government also signalled that current restrictions are to remain in place, but slightly relaxed them to allow exercise more than once a day. Their main message is however still; “Stay At Home.”
Johnson To Risk English Lives For The Economy
Since the lockdown was extended 3 weeks ago, there have been calls from MPs like Jacob Rees-Mogg and Iain Duncan Smith to ‘re-open the economy.’ This was being pushed by many Tory MPs who seemed to be putting the economy before their constituent’s lives.
While we may have “passed the peak” of the Coronavirus pandemic in the UK, we are by no means ready to start returning to normal. After all, the test and trace system that is vitally important in detecting a second peak, still isn’t in place. Many scientists are clear that restrictions must remain the same until at least the next lockdown review in 3 weeks time.
Even with the stay at home advise, people struggled to listen. VE Day celebrations saw street parties and congas taking place, and yesterday Police in London admitted defeat after so many people decided to go sunbathing at London Fields. It is a dark coincidence that London Fields is also the site of a Black Death Mass Grave.
However, despite all of this, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to announce an easing of restrictions for residents in England ONLY.
Mr Johnson is also planning to urge workers who cannot do their jobs from home to begin returning to their workplaces while following social-distancing rules as well as re-opening Gardening Centres. Chancellor Rishi Sunak is also reported to announce the winding down of the furlough scheme on Tuesday, a move that will force workers to return to work, even if it is unsafe to do so.
What all of the above measures indicate that despite only just slowing the virus, workers lives are seen as acceptable to risk, if it means companies can start making money again. By forcing people to return to work, employees will be forced onto busy public transport with no option to social distance
As “Stay At Home” has been dropped, we can expect even more people to venture out for unnecessary journeys which will put more people at risk and allow the virus to spread.
You’d think that with Westminster having seen Germany and South Korea reimpose lockdown restrictions. they’d err on the side of caution, especially after they’ve been criticised for not acting responsibly.
All in all, I urge everyone across the UK and NI to Stay At Home. While it may be incredibly testing, it is better to suffer short-term pain than long-term devastation….
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