• Julian & Michaela

Are Family Relationships Being Given Enough Priority As The Lockdown Eases?

The importance of relationships with family and friends is perhaps being overlooked at the moment in the rush to get people back to work and the economy up and running.

Newspaper columnist Sonia Sodha argues that although it is necessary to secure people’s incomes, more consideration should be given to the need for contact between family members and close friends who have been kept apart by the lockdown.

While economic hardship is a primary cause of mental stress, personal relationships also play a key role in our emotional wellbeing and should be taken more into account in the decisions being made about easing the lockdown.

‘In England,’ she writes, ‘ministers have decided to allow an incremental increase in the number of people we come into contact with, and appear to have prioritised economic over social contacts, encouraging people to return to work before allowing them to socialise in multi-household “bubbles”’.

This also goes for the opening of retail and catering businesses which inevitably encourages gatherings of people, while tight restrictions on meetings between households are being maintained.

The argument here is not about opening the lockdown floodgates but where our priorities lie. Is it more important to be able to pay a trip to your local hardware store, garden centre or café, or to see your sister, brother, son, daughter, grandchildren, parents or other close relatives?