Pandemic Annoyances

In my life, there have been times where I have had restrictions. Times where I have not left the house for long periods of time. Times where I have been isolated.

This has given me a slight advantage when dealing with this pandemic. It has meant that my anxiety stayed low, I was not ‘freaking out’ and I was able to take it all in my stride.

However…

Now, I am fed up and annoyed. I can be a little bit of a control freak – this means that I am starting to twitch at the fact that we are potentially once again having choice taken away. I live in a City where the number of cases are currently (apparently) increasing. This means that the City is now on some naughty list to be watched and potentially sent into another lockdown. There has been mention of Marshal presence. There has been a limitation on how many people you can and cannot see and where you can see them. Unless you’re at work or school…

Everyone is saying “Christmas may be cancelled.”

Travel restrictions may be put into place. Again. So now I can be once again separated from my mum until the government says otherwise? Or can I see her because there’s only me, my partner and her? Or can I only travel when it’s essential? What is essential? And who says what is essential travel for me?

Families are only able to come together for Christmas if there are 6 or less people present… Well, what about those of us that don’t have enough family to be able to count past 2? Are we allowed to travel to see our family?

Making people give their details when they go out publicly to socialise so track and trace can be completed… Yes, okay… but why now? Why not enforce that one right from the start?

We also might be given a 10pm curfew – who and how is that about to be enforced? What about people who work the late shift or do nights? Do they need to carry their work rota with them as proof they’ve been to or are going to work? Because anyone can carry a badge – I have a badge. I could carry that with me and claim that I’m doing a late shift… who is to know if I actually am doing a late shift or if I’m off to meet my 20 pals?

Eat out to help out was encouraging everyone to go back out and meet in groups to help put money back into the economy and now that we’ve done that, we’re being told to go stay indoors. We do as we’re told and then get told we’re causing the virus to surge again.

If you socialise in a group of more than 6 people, you’re breaking the law (from 14th September) and will be fined. But not if you’re at work or in education. Can we not catch it at work or school?

Learning Something New

Today, within my University lecture I learnt something new – kind of the point, I know… but still…

In my Law and Policy lecture this morning, we discussed all things law related and we were pointed in the direction of a case involving the Mental Health Act and the Human Rights Act. No other information was given other than the name of the case (Bournewood Case).

As my interest in mental health is quite a healthy one, I immediately noted it down and made a mental plan to go and look at it when I had chance.

I now have a 3 hour break (11.00 – 14.00) and find myself in the library getting a laptop out on loan to look at what I can find.

As someone who has spent years working with individuals with various learning disabilities and conditions, I find it horrifying to read that a person with autism could have ever been detained under the Mental Health Act ‘informally’. Surely the aim of being sectioned under the Mental Health Act is that it is the last resort and only done as a way of providing treatment and ensuring that the person is in a safe environment to heal and recover…

(Though I have never been detained or sectioned – my own experiences assure me that the system is not a kind one and that my view that people should be made to feel safe and secure may not be the case)

 

“They engaged a solicitor on his behalf and took a case for unlawful detention to the High Court, which ruled against him. The Appeal Court overturned the decision in October 1997, and the hospital chose to section HL, although he did not meet the criteria, and in December that year he was finally discharged by the hospital managers…”

“In 1998, the House of Lords overturned the ruling that HL’s detention had been illegal…”

“Mr and Mrs E decided to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights, which in October 2004 ruled in HL’s favour. As a result the government introduced the new Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, which came into force in April 2009…”

This case changed the law (in Britain) – thankfully, although I find it incredibly disheartening that change came from such trauma. As is usually the case.

I recommend reading about it (Bournewood Case), if you haven’t already.