Editor’s comment: Tough winter ahead - but there is help out there

André Langlois doesn't think lockdown #2 has come soon enough.

André Langlois doesn't think lockdown #2 has come soon enough. - Credit: Archant

Yesterday I cried in the street.

It was a brief moment and I’m okay - genuinely. All of us will have struggled at points in the last eight months. We’ve all had things going on and I’m no exception.

As is often the case with any kind of mental health issues, you feel guilty because you know there are people in a far worse situation than you, and not just in the Covid era. At least since Bob Geldof started yelling on TV, when I was seven, I’ve been aware to some degree of my privilege. But you don’t struggle in proportion to the cards you’ve been dealt.

The temperature dropped this week in a sign of a tough winter ahead.

None of this is to say that Lockdown #2 is the wrong decision. It’s unfortunate but, if anything, it hasn’t come soon enough. The government resisted for the sake of the economy. Mr Johnson and co don’t want to do this any more than they want to force us into masks. What they want is to open the markets and free up the Englishman to show once again he is the greatest on Earth. Or something.

Although there are contrary voices, it’s clear that scientific and medical opinion backs drastic action. Businesses are going to suffer. The economy is going to suffer. It’s going to be vital in the run-up to Christmas that we support local traders.

For a great many people there are going to be tough times ahead, but one of the things Lockdown #1 showed us is that there is help out there, whether it is neighbours, friends, family, your GP, NHS 111, mutual aid groups, churches, foodbanks, soup kitchens, councils, residents’ associations, voluntary groups, theatre groups, your local bakery, your local paper or footballers.

There is also specialised help, including, but not limited to, The Samaritans (samaritans.org/ 08457 909090), Mind (mind.org.uk/ 0300 123 3393), Childline (childline.org.uk/ 0800 1111) and the Silver Line (thesilverline.org.uk/ 0800 4 70 80 90).