Is a second national lockdown the answer? Sussex residents have their say

With Covid-19 deaths continuing to rise should the Government implement a second national lockdown?

We put this question to our newspaper readers on Facebook and the response was very much divided.

On the Eastbourne Herald Facebook page Jaqueline Haegen wrote: "No. We need to accept that this is here for the long term. We should be careful, but we need to get on with our lives! No-one lives forever, we all die of something. The important thing is that we have a life before we do. Running scared and living in and out of lockdown is not a life."

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However, Carly Pugh wrote on the Hastings Observer Facebook page: "We would all want a hospital bed if we or a family member or friend became seriously ill with it so something needs to be done. If that’s another type of lockdown to save lives then yes. But it’s not a fix which is what we all want really. Just to be the normal we all took for granted."

With Covid-19 cases on the rise do we need another national lockdown?

On the Hastings Observer Facebook page Heather Alexandra Pritchard wrote: "It's going to cause a lot of issues for everyone and we may not want it but it's needed. Unfortunately social distancing and being trusted to look after ourselves and follow the rules has not worked."

The effect on mental health was a concern voiced by many.

Sue Francis wrote a moving comment on the Eastbourne Herald page stating: "My mum died in June, during lockdown (not of COVID) I may not have lost her to COVID but COVID took so much from us.

"Like so many other people around the world, she was vulnerable, so for the last four months of her life she was robbed of seeing her her family, grandchildren,great grandchildren and welcoming a new great grandchild that was born six weeks before she died, we will never get that precious time back and all for what?

"Mentally I’m finding this hard to accept, if I knew she only had such a short time left, I would never have done lockdown so strictly. Really dreading the thought of another lockdown, I’m already struggling now as it is."

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Sticking with the localised lockdowns was an option many readers seemed to favour.

On the Worthing Herald Facebook page Patricia Keiller wrote: "I think that the numbers locally probably do not warrant a strict lockdown. This second Covid wave has not affected regions equally so It actually makes sense to have a three tier system in light of this.

"Given the situation in Sussex I think that we should either keep the rules appropriate for medium tier one threat, or if we are to impose stronger rules they should last a maximum of a couple of weeks and no longer."

Elaine Smith wrote on the West Sussex County Times Facebook page: "Shut airports and stop travel while localised lockdowns are in place. This will help prevent people bringing it back into the country from elsewhere. We have to learn to control it if we can’t eradicate it."

Luke Bailey added: "Nope the lockdown won't work. It worked for a while last time but as soon as life goes back to a new normal numbers will just rise. Plus is it fair to lockdown towns that don't have high numbers. Places on tier 3 should be stopped from traveling outside their town including going on holiday."

Tracy Garrison also wrote: “Keep it as it is, but I’ve noticed and heard, some people who are now in tier 3, are travelling down south for the weekends, then entering pubs and restaurants.

“I think the hospitality industry should be asking for names & addresses and shown proof before allowing them to enter. I know track and trace are in place but surely prevention is better.”

Many readers seemed frustrated at the lack of decision making being taken by the Government.

Lucy Thomas wrote on the Eastbourne Herald Facebook page: "Why couldn't we have had the circuit breaker lockdown of two weeks that scientists suggested instead when they suggested it? I don't want another one that lasts as long as the last, which is the only option now. If he'd listened, we could have only had to do two weeks, which is much more doable for my mental health."

On the same page Nick Child agreed: "Johnson has been ignoring the scientists for months now and is also out of step with the devolved nations and many of his own MPs in not having a circuit break.

"Christmas will probably be cancelled as we spike into a second wave of avoidable deaths. And where is his world beating trace and test system ? So sad."

Adam Brown voiced his concerns about the large bill facing us in the future.

"The financial hit of this crisis will be massive and we haven't even started to feel it yet," he wrote on the Chichester Observer Facebook page. "All of the money the government are borrowing to cover their lockdown will need to be paid back and it will be our children's children who are paying for them - at what part would it become immoral to sell our descendants futures for our safety?"

On the Worthing Herald Facebook page, Hannah-Eléni Goble was one of many who voiced their concern about it being a vicious cycle.

"Surely if we lockdown again, yes the numbers will go down but the same thing is going to happen as soon as we come out of it again, the numbers will go up. It’s just going to be a vicious cycle!"

Gemma Avery wrote: “No, the numbers have crept up again because the virus hasn’t gone away. It won’t go away if we have another lockdown. It won’t go away if we get a vaccine. What we won’t have is any form of economy and we will have more strain on the NHS in the near future from mental illness and all those illnesses being untreated.”

'Listen to the experts' was a view shared by many.

Laurence Johnson wrote: "At the end of the day what we all think is irrelevant. Healthcare professionals are directing the government and if they are predicting a rise in cases that have the potential to overwhelm the availability of hospital beds, then who are we to argue otherwise. My view is listen to the experts."

On the flip side Janice Dempsey wrote on the Chichester Observer Facebook page: "It should be a personal decision. Stay in if you want, but no one has the right to tell you what to do."

But James Thompson simply wrote on the West Sussex County Times Facebook page: "Whatever it takes to prevent hospitals having to turn people away and morgues overflowing."