Due to recent news stories about the new Omicron COVID-19 variant, there is concern that this will lead the British public to yet another lockdown.  As I see it, there are a number of arguments against this – Christmas, mental health issues, the disruption to education and the inevitable economic downturn.   


Now that we are back in masks in shops and public places there are serious concerns that this is similar to how last Christmas progressed. Last year just a few days before Christmas, Boris Johnson put us all in lockdown and many postcodes, including Elmbridge ,were forced to have a ‘COVID Christmas’ which is very different to anything previously experienced. Christmas is a time of the year that many people hold onto and having that taken away led to despair, upset and loneliness for many. Being separated from family on this special day was heart breaking. 


After the previous year many are keen to do their part in order to keep Christmas on track but the new 22 cases of the Omicron variant puts that at risk. Already a quarter of the population finds the Christmas period more difficult than the rest of the year so with another lockdown this could lead to significant consequences.  Rosie Weatherley from the Mind mental health charity states that “Christmas can be an especially difficult time, and this year has been more challenging than most”. Being lonely on around Christmas is a very common problem amongst many people but when you are not able to see loved ones the rates of sadness and even depression rises.  


Generally, the winter is a time where many struggle with seasonal depression. The short days and cold weather can impact on many peoples’ mood.  


If schools are forced to close again there will be another year of disrupted GSCE’s and A levels.  There is a huge difference across the UK in how schools have managed to teach during previous lockdowns and it is unlikely that the impact on childrens’ education will ever fully be known. 


There has been a devastating effect on the UK economy during previous lockdowns with permanent closures, loss of income and staff.  Businesses are finally getting back to normal and any further forced closures would be the breaking point for many businesses, particularly in the hospitality industry. 


We are all still unaware of the impacts of this Omicron variant. Will it be more contagious? Will it lead to more uncertainty? All of these questions have a lot of uncertainty and for many it’s too much to think about going back to dark times.  Hopefully the Uk is better placed now to cope with the successful vaccine and booster roll out which will help protect the NHS and ultimately save lives.