Opinion: We need equality more than ever during this pandemic
For those of you who have been living under a rock recently, COVID-19 has quite literally swept the globe and put many countries – including ours – into lockdown. Due to this global pandemic, makeshift hospitals are cropping up everywhere, over 500,000 people are volunteering for the NHS and your local triathlon geeks and couch potatoes alike are taking to Twitter to kick off about their outside exercise becoming rationed – not that this affects the lifestyle of the latter in the slightest.
The official advice is to stay inside unless you need to sensibly shop or get medical attention. You may travel to and from work if it is absolutely essential to do so. If your friends ask you to meet, you should say no. Where have I heard that line before?
However, if you just so happen to be royalty, you can go ahead and skip those first two paragraphs. That’s right – the royals are at it again.
A 71-year-old man has ignored government advice, been positively tested for a highly contagious virus, and travelled the entire country to his holiday home instead of staying inside. Sounds bad, right? Not for old Charlie-boy, who gets a free pass for being the Prince of Wales. Our dear Prince of Wales took a trip in an RAF helicopter from Highgrove House to Balmoral – what appears to be a completely unnecessary journey – and put his staff at Balmoral at risk.
While we’ve been worrying about ‘super-spreaders’ on our public transport and in our offices, we never stopped to consider that the people in charge of our country would be so ill-advised as to become ‘super-spreaders’ themselves.
Not only that, but every news outlet in the UK assures us that the Queen is ‘in good health’. Our 93-year-old monarch is being hailed by our red-top magazines as a ‘beacon of stability’ for the country – yet she also apparently ignored government advice last week and travelled from Buckingham Palace to Windsor Castle.
Instead of staying in one place and only having one set of staff at risk, both Lizzie and Charlie-boy are potentially infecting at least double the amount of people!
For reference, my great-grandmother – who acts like she’s the Queen of England – is 87 and she is absolutely petrified of leaving the house. She’s following every word of Boris Johnson’s conferences to the letter and we haven’t seen her in weeks. So why should one particularly fussy old lady have more leeway than another fussy old lady?
This takes me to my main point – in a global pandemic, why are we not equal?
How can one family be allowed so much privilege when other families are struggling to survive on what they can scavenge from their local corner shop? We cannot expect people to abide by the safety rules when one family, regardless of titles, is allowed and almost publicly praised for their disobedience. This will only make the collective turmoil last longer and the heartbreaks more common.
I’m not normally one to keep up with the royals, quite frankly I’d rather watch the grass grow or Keeping Up With The Kardashians – and I loathe the Kardashians – but this whole affair has had me flummoxed.
To me, and I would like to think many others, the monarchy is pointless. They act as a figurehead to remind us that we are Great Britain and we were once able to conquer a ton of other countries; every so often one of them gets married or has a baby and they act as a distraction from their expensive holiday home renovations and our increasing amounts of austerity. In reality, much of the general public couldn’t care less if we had a platypus running the show instead of our Windsors.
With this in mind, we should not be giving priority boarding passes to these elderly buffoons to get out of this catastrophe that is COVID-19. We should be taking care of our NHS workers who can’t get tested and our key workers who aren’t considered ‘priorities’.
We should really be doing more for our whole country, not just for our rich.