Whenever coronavirus restrictions are increased, there are very often large gatherings just before the new restrictions come into force. Sadly many people seem to take little personal responsibility for helping fight the virus, but only comply with restrictions because it is the law.

Even then compliance is quite poor. Lack of popular will for fighting this pandemic no doubt has contributed to the half-hearted nature of the restrictions that we have seen in the last couple of months. Success needs not only good policy but also people being eager to cooperate in this effort to protect everyone’s health.

Although in the media we see young people gathering without concern for coronavirus, this issue affects all age groups. Young people are more visible since they tend not to have homes large enough to gather in large groups at home, so are seen gathering out in public venues like bars and restaurants. But at least these venues are subject to some degree of social distancing requirements. Household mixing in homes is suspected to be a significant contributor to virus spread, and it is much harder for both the media and authorities to monitor to ensure social distancing and prevent excessively large groups.

Declining caution around coronavirus is a universal issue, common among all age groups, and everyone must work together to fight this virus, rather than blame it on other groups while turning a blind eye to their and their friends’ actions.

Written by Christopher McGarry, Voices from Oxford Collaborator