With the UK under some form of lockdown or restrictions since March, many Britons had hoped for a return to normality by Christmas.
However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s reported plans from as early as September to let Britons have a day off from a long-impending second lockdown for Christmas did not augur well for the festive season ahead. And since October, government scientists have threatened death and further waves of lockdown if citizens tried to enjoy the holy season too much.
‘People Will Die’ If They Spend Christmas Together
In late September, Imperial College London’s Professor Neil Ferguson, whose coronavirus modelling was instrumental in the government’s pandemic management and lockdown policy, claimed that “people will die” if they spend Christmas day together.
“It risks some transmission, and there will be consequences of that. Some people will die because of getting infected on that day,” he had said.
Ferguson was forced to resign from his government advisory role in disgrace after he twice broke lockdown laws — informed by his own studies — after allowing his married lover to visit him at home. Despite the resignation, Ferguson is still listed as a participant of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and has recently returned to the
Britons May Have Five Days Off for Christmas — for the Price of Another Lockdown
Late last month, the government announced that social distancing rules would be relaxed for five days over Christmas. Weeks before the announcement, Public Health England and SAGE said that for every day of lockdown, more days must be spent in lockdown to offset the freedom that Britons were granted.
The government’s advisors settled on five days per one day of freedom in their projection, meaning that the UK could see almost the whole of January under restrictions.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 22, 2020
Christmas Will Lead to a Third Coronavirus Wave
While there are no plans for a third lockdown, shortly after Mr Johnson announced the Christmas break, SAGE said the plans would “pour fuel on the Covid fire” and trigger a third wave of the virus, resulting in fatalities.
” I think it will definitely lead to increased transmission. It is likely to lead to a third wave of infection, with hospitals being overrun, and more unnecessary deaths,” the advisory group’s Professor Andrew Hayward had said.
Kissing and Hugging Grandma Could Kill Her
Britain’s long-suffering seniors were likely looking forward to a kiss and a cuddle with their grandchildren, after spending up to eight months either isolating at home or in care facilities.
Not so fast, said the government’s scientists. Professor Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, told citizens not to hug their elderly relatives “if you want them to survive to be hugged again”.
While Peter Openshaw from the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) claimed that “kissing your grandparents may be delivering a deadly dose of the virus”.
No Hugging, Carolling, Family Monopoly Games, or Nativity Plays
Health Secretary Matt Hancock had first said that family members should still practice “social distancing” when meeting over the holiday period, suggesting that they should not hug, echoing the earlier recommendations of Professor Openshaw that you should “be pleased” to see loved ones, “but keep a safe distance”.
SAGE later came out advising against hugging, as well as carolling or any form of family board game that could put people into close contact.
Parents in Tier 3 areas have also been banned from attending children’s school nativity plays.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 19, 2020
Meet Outdoors and Have a Christmas Day Picnic in the Park
SAGE’s Graham Medley had also advised that families “meet outdoors if possible”, in the bitter winter air.
The World Health Organization’s Europe office had also suggested families skip the traditional close quarters Christmas dinner on December 25th in favour of a picnic in the park.
“Despite the cold, if local restrictions permit, gather outside with loved ones for picnics in the park,” Dr Hans Kluge had said.
Cancel Christmas and Have a Summer Party, Instead
Even after Prime Minister Boris Johnson resisted pressure to shorten the holidays, several high-profile scientists, including those advising the government, urged Britons to take the initiative and cancel Christmas themselves, recommending “a summer family get-together to replace meeting at Christmas”.
While Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick claimed: “Easter can be the new Christmas.”
“Why not wait and get the family back together in 2021?” he added.
No Christmas for you
However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson had ruined Christmas for millions of Britons, after he plunged the whole of the South East into a newly-made up Tier 4 on Sunday, saying a new strain of the virus had taken hold in the region. Despite promising five days of relaxation over the holiday period, he cancelled the plans, meaning that no households may legally mix — effectively banning family Christmases.
Police would also be in force to fine those leaving lockdown areas.
Britons were in uproar on social media, with Telegraph cartoonist and vocal lockdown critic Bob Moran remarking: “If you really want to torture a person, if you want to totally break their spirit, you must first offer them hope. Then, at the last second, snatch it away. It also works with entire populations.”
Farage: The Government Thinks It Owns Christmas
Brexit leader Nigel Farage has taken on the fight against Big Government’s encroachment on Britons’ freedom, criticising the Johnson administration’s policies which reflect the establishment’s attitude that it “owns Christmas”, which can bestow on citizens as a gift if it sees fit.
Speaking in December, Mr Farage said: “It’s this whole idea that they own Christmas, they own our freedom, and they’re going to give us a few days when we can get together and celebrate Christmas.”
“I just feel that is all the wrong way round,” the Brexiteer said, warning: “The problem with this, of course, is that history shows that government in crises — be it war or whatever else it is — are very good at taking power for themselves, but very much less good at giving it back when those crises are over. There are some real long-term battles to be fought here.”
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 3, 2020