We are all being asked to play our part in the fight against the coronavirus, why won’t some people?

By Nina Steele 

UK PoliceA UK police force was trending on Twitter recently because they shared footage of people going about their business as usual, even though they are not supposed to, under strict coronavirus lockdown rules. Derbyshire Police, which released the images obtained by drones, wanted to remind the public that travelling to the peak district or any other remote area for exercise or any other reason, cannot be categorised as an essential journey. I agree.

Some people disagreed since in their eyes, the people in the footage were not part of a group and so they were not flouting social distancing rules. But of course that wasn’t the point. The new rule states that we should all only travel for essential journeys and as Derbyshire Police rightly pointed out, travelling to remote areas for exercise does not count as essential travel. What people who criticise the force fail to understand is that, if you allow a small number of people to do as they please, then you set the stage for others to follow.

Funny enough, the Sunday before the new rules were announced, my husband and I decided not to go on our walk to the countryside, as we usually do on Sundays, even though it was beautifully sunny. My husband had already worked out that travelling to remote areas no longer made sense because of the uncertainty we all face. And so when the new rules were announced a few days later, we were both relieved that we did indeed do the right thing.

Which brings me back to the people accusing Derbyshire police of “nanny policing”. They need reminding that in order for the coronavirus to be defeated, we all have to play our part, no matter how inconvenient. Yes it sucks to not be able to go out as before, particularly now that the weather is getting warmer. And yes, I do also understand that not everyone has a garden and so the prospect of spending potentially months not being able to see much greenery sucks too.

But once again, we must not forget what brought us here. Drastic measures are needed in order to defeat this disease. There is no other way, and those who believe otherwise are deluding themselves. The last thing we all want, is for this state of affairs to go on for ever. Since we all want this disease to be defeated sooner rather than later, we must all stick to the rules now.

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