The Coronavirus has impacted every one of us in a detrimental way. Whether it was your friend or family member who became infected, your job that no longer exists, or your local business that has been shut down: we’ve all suffered.

As we all know, for the past eight months, our way of life has been totally transformed. We haven’t been able to see our friends, go out to local clubs and pubs, or even attend a family member’s funeral. Coronavirus has thrown a huge spanner in the works. We have experienced disruption and dislocation unlike anything in living memory. We’ve suffered like never before.

Take local businesses. They have had to tread a fine line, with no possible knowledge of how long they will be able to remain open, or how many customers will walk through their doors. Their workload and stress have increased exponentially. Predicting and analysing where every penny can be saved or utilised; the threat of closure forever looming over them. The business owners, the people that rely on you and me for income, have been out of pocket for months and months on end, saving everything they can, just in case their finances run out. What can they do? Nothing. Just hope and pray that it will all end quickly.

And what about the impact on the people that rely on these businesses? The customers, employees and suppliers? It’s all interdependent. The business that supplies goods to your local shops, the hairdressers and the pubs, they are all losing their customers after being shut for months. If one fails, we all fail.

Who would ever have believed that giants of the retail world would suffer dramatically and fall into administration? Shockingly, Debenhams fell into administration for the second time in 12 months back in April ! [1] Let’s not forget, TFL, the reliable workhorse of London is also in danger of becoming a shell of its former self. This economic climate, caused by Coronavirus, has plunged the UK (and many other countries around the world) deep into recession, with our Gross Domestic Product plunging nearly 20% in the second-quarter ! [2] All of this creates nationwide uncertainty. Will you purchase that next car you’ve always wanted when the economy is in danger of going down the drain? Of course not.  As we all remember, at the start of lock-down people only wanted to buy necessities. Queues filled the streets for suddenly scarce commodities such as hand sanitisers, toilet rolls and tinned goods, and, unusually, the latest iPhone suddenly became unimportant.

Over 4.5% of the UK is unemployed [3]. That means 1.5 million people. [4] These are people that you may know, your friends, your family, your neighbours. Imagine being locked up for 6 months with no income, trying to last out on your savings from your last minimum wage, zero-hours job, with no ability to look out for and predict when you will get your next pay cheque- it’s a terrible way to live.  One can only sympathise with the misery people in this situation will have to endure. Not to forget the unviable frugality in your life, which leads to unnecessary mental pressure and stress.

Thankfully, the NHS is there to help. They have the best doctors at your service. Doctors that are willing to treat you and help you for free, for your benefit. The NHS may be underfunded, understaffed and overworked, but thanks to them your family gets treatment and help when they need it. Every single day. The doctors do a phenomenal job, going above and beyond to ensure that the health and well-being of this country’s people is taken care of.

Despite our health being in good hands, the pandemic has hit us all hard financially. At the start of the pandemic we had approximately one ventilator per seven thousand people. The government has employed business like Mercedes and others to help them produce more ventilators. Not only this but we have “asked the US to deliver 200 ventilators” [5], as well as spending millions on the private firms making PPE and running the disastrous track and trace system.

In this ever-changing world countries are now pushing for self-reliance. This is clearly evident in the US- China trade war, with exponentially increasing tariffs. Countries cannot count on one another for support. The United Kingdom “two million home test kits … for at least twenty million” [6] only to find that “the tests did not work.” [6]. Countries have given up hope on one another, there is no teamwork or collaboration. The world is divided, it’s every country for itself.

Our government is now in turmoil. It’s shelling out money like a broken cash machine. Rishi Sunak’s furlough scheme, the self-isolation support grants and the governments’ support packages to business. Places like Liverpool have “secured a support package from Government worth an overall £51m” [7]. This money is vital to support businesses and people. What we don’t need is the government wasting money outsourcing crucial services to private companies. Most of us know that our money should be used wisely with accountability and transparency.  The only leprechaun for the government to leech off is us. We will be paying the price for these botched private contracts through taxes. No one else. As if life wasn’t hard enough already…