“Sad, angry, frustrated”: 11 reactions to the Covid Tier 2 and Tier 3 lockdowns

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Kayleigh Dray
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“Sad, angry, frustrated”: reactions to London moving into Covid Tier 2 lockdown

The government has announced that millions of people up and down the country will face tougher coronavirus restrictions. Here’s how we reacted to the news.

It’s official: millions of people in London, Essex, York and other areas will face tougher Tier 2 Covid measures from Saturday 17 October, with a ban on households mixing indoors.

Under Tier 2 (also known as “high alert”), households are also barred from mixing in pubs and restaurants.

As per BBC News, the areas that will be affected by these new restrictions this weekend include:

  • London
  • Essex
  • Elmbridge in Surrey
  • Barrow in Furness, Cumbria
  • York
  • North East Derbyshire
  • Chesterfield
  • Erewash, Derbyshire

Sharing a letter he had written to Boris Johnson on Twitter about the decision, London mayor Sadiq Khan wrote: “Urgent action is needed to protect Londoners and bring the virus under control in our city.

“The government must provide proper financial help to all businesses and vulnerable Londoners affected by restrictions, as well as local authorities who support them.”

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Khan continued: “Support for businesses already struggling is vital. We must have an extension to the business rates holiday for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses as more restrictions are expected, as well as further support to help them maintain Covid-safe environments.

“The government must also commit to protecting vulnerable Londoners. It is essential that no one should be faced with added financial hardship through redundancy or a loss of earnings, and is able to access benefits or crisis support straight away should they need to.”

He finished: “We also need an immediate increase in testing capacity so that London’s testing rates can increase to the national average, and low-paid workers who are ineligible for benefits must receive the adequate support they need to self-isolate and keep their community safe.”

The new three-tier system sees every area of England classed as being on medium, high or very high alert.

Currently, the Liverpool City Region remains the only area currently in the highest tier. 

However, MPs are still deliberating as to whether or not Greater Manchester should also be faced with “very high” Tier 3 measures.

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Naturally, the news that so many of us will be facing tougher Covid restrictions has knocked many people for six.

Here’s how some of the Stylist team and readers felt when they learned the news.

“Sad, angry, frustrated.”

“I feel sad, angry, frustrated. I’m meant to be going to meet my new baby niece, who just arrived at my parents with my brother and his wife, and now I don’t know if I can, and that makes my heart ACHE.

“Obviously I understand why the restrictions need to be in place, but it feels like we’ve gone one step forward and three steps back. I’m trying to stay ‘strong’ and not feel too overwhelmed but, equally, I want to shout into a pillow.”

Alyss Bowen, Social Media Editor

“It’s hard to look forward to anything”

“I think that ultimately the authorities should do whatever’s best for the country health-wise but it’s very disappointing that these restrictions have come at a time when it’s getting harder to meet outside because of the weather. I really feel for people who live alone, and also those in the hospitality trade and other industries that will surely be badly affected by the new rules. Personally speaking, I’ve been lucky to keep my job and to live with others and everyone I know has stayed relatively healthy. That said, it’s hard to look forward to anything when there’s so much anxiety and uncertainty.”

Caroline, Stylist reader

“I’m worried about my physical and mental health”

“I missed round one of lockdown in London as I was at home visiting my parents in Ireland in March when it all kicked off (I was meant to stay for 2 weeks, ended up being there for 5 months!), so I’m extremely nervous about what’s coming down the line.

“At home I had my doddery but amusing parents for company and a dog who is an excellent listener, here I live in a tiny, poorly heated flat with no outdoor space. And, although I love my own company, I’m worried about my physical and mental health if things get bad here.

“I feel anxious, apprehensive and angry but most of all really really tired. I thought the worst case scenario might be Christmas Day in a ‘Spoons alone, but now even that grim prospect seems too optimistic.”

Katy Harrington, Acting Contributing Editor

“There’s no consistency”

“My job usually means that I travel all over the country, which is stressful enough, but the lack of consistency in Covid restrictions mean the admin on top considering all the local variations and last minute changes is crazy. Plus, it’s just miserable. I feel like I’m retreating into a shell.”

Raven, Stylist reader

“I’m almost glad”

“I’m almost glad this has been announced, because it felt like we were just waiting for it to happen.

That being said, though, I’m (selfishly?) worried about how long the restrictions will last and what it will mean for Christmastime socialising!”

Meena Alexander, Sub-Editor

“It’s not a surprise”

“It’s not a surprise and I respect it as necessary. On the one hand, I’m weary of the whole thing, and on the other the measures seem too nebulous to have any real effect.

“I wonder if a shorter, more severe lockdown might be better?”

Kate, Stylist reader

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“I’m nervous about what’s to come”

“Seeing London go into lockdown makes me nervous about what’s to come. I live about an hour outside of London, and I’m worried about the cases spreading.

“I also have a lot of friends in London who are struggling with the news, and it makes me so sad and frustrated to see them facing restrictions when the government has had so long to put infrastructure like test and trace in place.”

Lauren Geall, Junior Digital Writer

“What happens next?”

“I am annoyed! And frustrated! I had plans on Friday night and I have no idea if they can still go ahead. I’m also angry because I’ve been so careful since March, I’ve barely seen anybody – I’ve met my new nephew once, and I’ve seen my parents twice – and now it feels like the sacrifices we all made in the initial four or five months are a waste. 

“How long is this going to go on for? What happens next?”

Lucy Partington, Beauty Editor

London moves into Covid Tier 2: “How long is this imposed for?”
London moves into Covid Tier 2: “How long is this imposed for?”

“It feels as though my life is crumbling”

“When my Apple news notification came through, I welled up. Then, through watery eyes, I began reading text message after text message from friends to cancel our coffee, dinner, drinks or workout plans over the forthcoming weeks. It felt as though my life was crumbling as the people and plans that I have relied on to get me through the uncertainty of the last few months have been stripped away from me. 

“Don’t get me wrong – I knew something was coming. But the suddenness, the lack of clarity and the thought of standing in the rain or 8ºC weather just to see a much-needed friendly face has really set me back.”

Chloe Gray, Digital Fitness Writer

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“I miss my friends”

“I haven’t been into London since February, but I miss my friends and I worry it won’t be the same when I eventually do go back into the city. All my favourite little eateries and shops and so on won’t be able to carry on!”

Kayleigh Dray, Digital Editor-at-Large

“I’m really struggling to accept that this is real”

“I’m really struggling to accept that this is real. We’ve been umming and ahhing about what the next change to our semi-locked down lives are going to be and none of the words that have been thrown our way – Tier 2, bubble, restrictions, households, outdoors – come as a surprise. Maybe I’m in shock, maybe I’m tired, maybe I saw it coming, but at the moment I feel frozen and achey but numb to a new policy that I don’t believe is gonna last long enough for me to adjust properly to it anyway.”

Jazmin Kopotsha, Deputy Digital Editor

Feeling emotionally overwhelmed as a result of the recent rise in coronavirus cases and new restrictions? From mental health analogies and breathing exercises, to self-care tips and a breakdown of Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs, we have a wealth of information on Stylist which is designed to give you the tools you need to prioritise your emotional wellbeing at this time.

You can find further information on stress and anxiety, as well as support and resources, on both the NHS and Mind websites.

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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