The UK Lock Down guidelines, as provided by the British government, have been described, by the British government, as straight forward and clear.
But how true is this? A recent study found that the guidelines are now so self-contradictory and confusing that they have resulted in a chronic rise in the National rate of Public Befuddlement (NRPB).
Here we try to cut through the confusion and answer some of your questions about those guidelines in an effort to make things clearer.
Should I Stay At Home?
Yes! Absolutely. Do not leave the house for any reason, unless you have a reason, in which case you may leave the house.
If you can work from home, you should do so, unless you are a key worker, or you want to get a different job, or you want to pick fruit and vegetables in a field, or you want to volunteer, or if your boss won’t let you work from home, or you don’t want to work from home, or you work in construction, or you work in a shop that isn’t closed. Or you work in the emergency services. Or you drive a taxi. Or you’re a postman or a courier or deliver restaurant food. Or you’re a farmer. Or you work in a petrol station.
Can I Drive My Car?
No! Unless you need to. You should avoid driving in the enclosed and extremely safe confines of your own car as much as possible. If you do drive your car, the police may stop you, ask you to open your window and breathe on you to make sure that you are not putting yourself and others at risk.
Can I Get Some Fresh Air?
Yes! And no. It’s important to go out for daily exercise but don’t drive somewhere and then take daily exercise, although you may drive a short distance to take daily exercise, provided that isn’t on a beach.
So long as you observe social distancing rules you are safe, unless you go out with friends and family who don’t live with you, then you are not safe, even if you observe social distancing rules.
If you do go out, don’t sit down, unless you need to, or if you’re old, or you’re pregnant, but not for too long and only if you’re not old or pregnant. If you do sit down, don’t eat or drink for some reason, unless you really need to because you’ve walked a long way, which you’re not allowed to do.
Old people are not safe to go out, but may go out to get daily exercise and walk pets. You should not visit old people, but old people can get taxis and share a car with a total stranger.
Do Masks Offer Protection?
The virus thrives in warm, damp conditions, such as masks.
So no, masks don’t offer any protection against the Coronavirus, but you may need to wear one to protect your life if you are a nurse, doctor or care home worker. Therefore masks are mandatory, except when they’re not.
Are Shops Closed During Lock Down?
Yes! Except those shops that don’t remain closed during lock down.
What Should I do If I Suspect I Have Symptoms?
Follow WHO guidelines and self-isolate for 12 days. You should not leave your home during this time, although nobody should leave their home, unless they need to leave their home.
If you’re a Member of Parliament, then you only need to isolate for a maximum 6 days. Unless you’re the Prime Minister, then you should self-isolate until you are ready to declare lock-down over.
Can I Travel to a Second Home
No! You may not travel to a second home. Unless you are the Prime Minister or Prince Charles.
Does The Virus Only Kill Vulnerable and Elderly People?
Evidence that is largely unavailable shows that this virus kills people with underlying health conditions except for those cases where the virus kills people who don’t have underlying health conditions.
Elderly people are most at risk, so it is imperative that elderly people are shielded, except when they are raising money for the NHS, in which case they should immediately perform hundreds of laps of their garden straight after a hip operation, even if they are nearly 100 years old.
Are NHS Staff at Greater Risk?
NHS Staff wear masks, which are known to provide ideal living conditions for the virus, but they are not at greater risk provided they wear masks.
Tests carried out so far, almost exclusively on NHS staff, suggest NHS staff are becoming infected more than members of the public who are not tested.
Are Children Immune?
Children are believed to be immune to the virus, except those children who are not immune to the virus.
Will Wearing Gloves Help?
Gloves won’t help but they can still help so wear them, or don’t wear them. If you are a health worker, NHS staff or work in a shop, gloves are mandatory in order to save lives.
Does the Virus Affect Animals?
Apart from those animals that are affected, there is no evidence that animals are affected by the Coronavirus, though none have been tested.
There is some evidence that tigers may be an animal that is affected, so stay at least 2 metres away from tigers at all times.
Should I Panic Buy Groceries?
Don’t panic buy because there is plenty of food, except where there are shortages of food.
You should eat healthily and normally, but eat whatever you have in the house as it’s better not to go to the shops, except when you need to get groceries or medicine, but it’s important not to get too many groceries or medicine and to buy small amounts regularly, thus ensuring you are outside more often. But don’t go outside too often.
I Think I Have Symptoms, Should I Call a Doctor?
It is important not to go to the doctor or the hospital unless you are too poorly to get to the doctor or hospital.
If you have symptoms which resemble the symptoms of Coronavirus call 111 and a health worker will decide whether or not you have symptoms resembling Coronavirus. If you do, they will advise you to stay at home for 12 days and not to go out unless you need to go out and not to go to the hospital unless you need to go to the hospital.
Are Daily Statistics Accurate?
Yes, although the daily statistics do not include all infections, so they are not accurate.
The number of people infected with Coronavirus figures are released daily based on guessing because tests are not being carried out and those tests that are being carried out are only matching symptoms not isolating the virus.
The Office of National Statistics don’t know for sure how many people are infected, though they will provide a precise figure.
Are All Restaurants Closed?
Yes. All restaurants that are not still open are closed.
You can get restaurant food delivered to the house, if the restaurant is open, and these deliveries are safe. But groceries you bring back to your house must be decontaminated outside for 3 hours including frozen pizza.
Is it Safe to Handle Letters and Parcels?
Yes, but only if you wash your hands for 20 seconds after handling letters and parcels then turn off the tap with the same hands you used to turn on the tap before you washed your hands.
What Exactly Are the Social Distancing Rules?
Remain at least 2 metres apart from everyone else, except people who live with you.
So long as you observe social distancing rules you are safe, unless you go out with friends and family who you don’t live with and observe social distancing rules. Then you are not safe.
You should not meet old and vulnerable friends or family members but they may take a taxi and occupy a car with a total stranger if they need to go out, which they shouldn’t, unless they do.
How Long Can the Virus Live on Surfaces?
The virus remains active on different surfaces for different lengths of time which is likely to change based on science that is constantly changing.
The virus lives longer on warm, damp surfaces, such as face masks, and can only survive in a damp environment but cannot be killed by warm weather, though the virus is likely to diminish when the warmer weather comes.
The virus needs a cold environment that is warm and dry to survive. The virus cannot survive in the air unless the air is a hard surface, in which case the virus can live for up to 72 hours or 34 hours.
How Long Will Lock Down Last?
The government are not sure, but are sure the lock down must last so long as people are at risk of getting infected, because the only way people will stop getting infected is if everyone is infected, so it’s important that some people get infected but that nobody gets infected.
Can I get Financial Help For my Business?
Yes, the government have released an unprecedented business aid package which will help businesses except those businesses which it won’t help. Business relief packages are capped at £50,000 so if your business is a large business there is no financial help for you.
If you are self employed there may be less chance of getting help for your business, while limited companies may find it difficult to get financial help. But every other business will be saved, except for those that have already collapsed and the ones that will collapse in the coming weeks.
I Have Lost My Job and Have No Money, Will I be Evicted?
Landlords should not evict tennants for non-payment of rent during the crisis, but landlords are free to evict tennants during the lockdown for non-payment of rent and many are.
If you have a mortgage, contact your mortgage lender and they might give you a month or three month holiday. But they will then add missed payments to the end of your payment term with a huge interest penalty. If you cannot get a mortgage holiday and the bank forecloses on your home the bank should not foreclose on your home, but are free to do so.
Can I Get a Business Loan to Save My Business?
Yes! The government have underwritten crisis business loans by 80%, so if you default on your crisis business loan the bank will still get 80% of your assets in the form of taxpayer money. Because banks will benefit from this they will only lend to businesses that are likely to default.
Banks are asked not to charge outrageous interest rates on crisis business loans, but banks are charging outrageous interest rates on crisis business loans.
What About a Bailout Then?!
No. Unless you are a bank, Richard Branson or a Conservative Party donor.