Lockdown

The lives changed by lockdown, six months on

A family look on as Boris Johnson makes his televised lockdown address on 23 March (AFP/Getty)
A family look on as Boris Johnson makes his televised lockdown address on 23 March (AFP/Getty)

The past six months have whirled by like a fever dream – a whole series of surreal and nightmarish events which have somehow happened in no time at all.

It was exactly 26 weird weeks ago – on 23 March 2020 – that Boris Johnson announced that the nation was in lockdown, ushering in the most draconian restrictions on ordinary life since the Second World War.

“You must stay home,” said the prime minister. “You should not be meeting with friends. You should not be meeting family. You should not be going shopping except for essentials like food and medicine – and you should do this as little as you can.”

Many of us told ourselves, and each other, that the worst would be over in a month or two. The economy would get

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How to be financially ready for the next COVID-19 lockdown

The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 has hit 200,000. And, a chilling forecast from the University of Washington predicts the number could more than double or even triple by January as people spend more time indoors and tire of social distancing and other recommended measures.

Other countries are imposing new lockdowns as coronavirus case numbers explode, and a new Newsweek poll finds a majority of Americans would support a national lockdown to stop the spread.

The earlier lockdowns in the U.S. led to layoffs and furloughs, and even a new series of smaller, more localized ones could spell trouble for workers still feeling drained after round one.

But you have time to prepare if Americans are asked to hunker down again. Here are nine things you can do to protect your finances ahead of a second lockdown wave.

1. Keep on saving

As the first wave of the pandemic swept

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Coronavirus latest news: Matt Hancock announces new lockdown restrictions for North East from tomorrow

Coronavirus Article Bar with counter ..
Coronavirus Article Bar with counter ..

Health Secretary Matt Hancock is expected to announce local restrictions for the North East of England following a rise in coronavirus cases.

It comes as a former WHO director has retracted his claim that Chris Whitty wants a two-week national lockdown.

Anthony Costello wrote on social media last night that a ” well-connected person” had told him the Chief Medical Officer for England was pushing for the move over fears case rates were much higher than official figures showed.

However, the professor of global health at University College London, has now retracted the claim, posting online: “I’ve been told by another insider I respect that Chris Whitty does not support a 2 week lockdown, so I’m pleased to correct the record.”

The correction came after Health Minister Edward Argar played down reports that the Government is considering a second national lockdown, saying infections can

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How to manage your mental health during lockdown

The National Domestic Abuse helpline has seen a 25 per cent increase in calls since lockdown began (Getty)
The National Domestic Abuse helpline has seen a 25 per cent increase in calls since lockdown began (Getty)

On 23 March prime minister Boris Johnson implemented a nationwide UK lockdown, which saw people confined to their homes.

Only able to leave the house for a number of essential reasons: getting food or medicine, once-daily exercise or travelling to work as a key worker.

Although the restrictions are now starting to ease in England, many people will have spent weeks at home – and are still unable to meet friends and family.

A long period of isolation may well have been a necessary measure to protect public health against Covid-19 but it has been acknowledged that it could also have a detrimental impact on people’s mental health.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) released a mental health guide for people who are self-isolating saying: “This time of crisis is generating stress in

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9 ways to prepare for the next COVID-19 lockdown

After giving up spring break and summer barbecues, cooped-up Americans are looking forward to the day when things go back to normal. But COVID-19 isn’t like a natural disaster that strikes once, then fades away.

Several states have paused or walked back their plans to reopen, as new hot spots emerge and the number of active cases remains high.

Now health experts are warning that a second round of lockdowns may be necessary as the fall flu season begins, classes resume and cool weather drives people into cramped indoor spaces.

still feeling drained after round one.” data-reactid=”35″Even a series of smaller, more localized lockdowns could spell trouble for Americans’ livelihoods, especially for those workers still feeling drained after round one.

But you still have time to prepare. Here are nine things you can do to protect your finances ahead of a second wave.

1. Keep saving

As the first

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New Zealanders wear face masks as Auckland lockdown lifted

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – Schools and businesses reopened in Auckland on Monday after the lifting of a lockdown in New Zealand’s largest city to contain the resurgence of the coronavirus, but face masks were made mandatory on public transport across the country.

The Pacific nation of 5 million people had appeared to have succeeded in halting community transmission of COVID-19, but a fresh outbreak in Auckland prompted the government to place the city back in lockdown earlier this month.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern scaled back the restrictions in Auckland on Sunday, but made masks compulsory on public transport.

Ardern said on Monday that she was confident the new measure would be taken up across New Zealand, adding that “a bit of smiling with the eyes behind the mask” and kindness to Aucklanders in particular, would help get the country through the latest outbreak.

“We have a plan that we know will

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France seeing ‘exponential’ rise in cases as Macron hints at second lockdown

France is seeing an 'exponential' rise in cases - Shutterstock
France is seeing an ‘exponential’ rise in cases – Shutterstock

France has recorded its biggest daily rise in coronavirus infections since March, while President Emmanuel Macron has raised the possibility of another nationwide lockdown.

A further 7,379 cases were confirmed on Friday, bringing the country’s total to 267,077 and making it the largest daily spike since March 31, when 7,578 cases were tallied at the peak of the first wave.

France was seeing an “exponential” rise in cases, the health ministry said, and the surge follows daily increases of 6,111 on Thursday and 5,429 on Wednesday.

But despite the rise, hospital numbers and daily deaths have been relatively stable as younger people less vulnerable to the virus make up most of the new cases, the ministry said.

Deaths rose by 20 on Friday, bringing France’s overall death toll to 30,596.

Shortly before Friday’s figures were released, Mr Macron said a

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Big tech and lockdown essentials soar

As the novel coronavirus pandemic reshapes American life, some companies have found business booming in the new normal, even as the rest of the economy recedes.

could close for good during the pandemic. Meanwhile, some of the larger companies have actually seen new gains amid the pandemic.” data-reactid=”13″It has been a bleak year for many businesses in the U.S., and experts warn that up to a third of all American small businesses could close for good during the pandemic. Meanwhile, some of the larger companies have actually seen new gains amid the pandemic.

stock market rally that has left a number of economists scratching their heads, experts say.” data-reactid=”14″This divide, which some have described as a “K-shaped recovery,” has been fueled in part by government relief actions and publicly-traded companies benefitting from a stock market rally that has left a number of economists scratching their heads,

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Lockdown may have lasting effects on friendships

Online connections cannot fulfil all of our social needs
Online connections cannot fulfil all of our social needs

“Friendships can deteriorate very quickly if you don’t invest in them – it probably only takes about three months,” says evolutionary psychologist Prof Robin Dunbar.

So the social strain of lockdown, while hopefully short-term, could have some long-term effects on some friendships, he says.

In a paper in the Royal Society journal, Proceedings A, Prof Dunbar has delved into the ways in which our social connections will be changed by lockdown.

The University of Oxford academic’s insight into those effects comes from a social world far from Zoom quizzes and Whatsapp groups. The roots of our friendships, he says, lie in the social lives of non-human primates.

For some primates, life depends of being part of a stable group
For some primates, life depends of being part of a stable group

For many of those primates, strong social bonds – being part of a “stable group” – means protection from predators and rivals.

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Birmingham police break up more than 70 illegal parties as city tries to avoid lockdown

Pedestrians wearing protective face masks walk past shops in the Handsworth area of Birmingham - JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP
Pedestrians wearing protective face masks walk past shops in the Handsworth area of Birmingham – JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP

Police in Birmingham have reminded residents to adhere to social distancing, as the city attempts to curb the rise in coronavirus infections and avoid a local lockdown. 

On Saturday, police were called to more than 70 street and house parties and other unlicensed gatherings overnight – including one party which involved two marquees and a DJ. 

The force tweeted: “Our officers are out tonight responding to calls about large gatherings. Please stick to Government guidelines and keep safe”.

The warnings follow growing concerns about the rising number of cases within the city. Birmingham, which is the second most populous city in the UK, has seen infection rates increase to 32.1 per 100,000 in recent days. 

Earlier this week, Gareth Morris, a West Midlands Police superintendent warned that the city could be facing a

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