Scotland and America: how do we feel about the government’s response?

7 mins read

If you feel like you are experiencing any Coronavirus symptoms please follow the advice from the National Health Service- found here and NHS Inform. Save Lives, Stay at Home

The coronavirus has changed American and British societies like we have never seen before.

We’ve had to adjust to queuing for the supermarket, speaking to our neighbours two metres apart and working from home (business at the top, pyjamas on the bottom)

But how satisfied are we with the response of our governments?

Britain has issued lockdown rules, staying in our houses except for essential travel and shopping. Recently, Boris Johnson changed the lockdown rules for England but Nicola Sturgeon has not relaxed them for Scotland.

America’s response has been somewhat mixed. President Trump has said individual states can decide when they reopen their borders which has caused widespread confusion.

Some states have been more affected than others and won’t reopen their borders. But we’ve all seen the spread of protesters who had just had enough of the virus and decided it didn’t exist.

President Trump has been criticised for how he has handled the Coronaivurs pandemic.

I spoke to people on both sides of the Atlantic to see how happy they are with the nationwide response.

Olivia McTiernan, a student from Lennoxtown, near Glasgow said: ” I think Nicola Sturgeon is out partially for her ego and her legacy and come across as rude on her briefings.”

She’s frustrated there isn’t much clarity on what is going to happen in the “next stage”.

Olivia, 19, lives beside a care home where they’re have been a number of deaths therefore the virus is all very real for her.

She also told me it is hard to keep occupied as the lockdown seems to be never ending, “walking and doing some online classes has helped slightly but the days are so long.”

A business student at the University of Strathclyde, Olivia’s classes and exams had been cancelled and she hasn’t heard from the uni about what may happen in September.

Olivia (right) and younger sister Eve (left)
Credit: Olivia McTiernan

Olivia’s younger sister, Eve, thought Sturgeon had started off strong but now is beginning to lose faith in her.

Eve, a high school student at Kilsyth Academy was due to sit her highers just now but like many students across Scotland and the UK, she’s relying on her predicted grades.

17-year-old Eve, a rugby player and whose team has two nurses working on the front line, says the virus has become very real.

Eve and her friends are missing out on opportunities arranged through the school such as prom and their Rwanda trip. They are filling out their option forms for sixth year but with the unknowing of what is going to happen by the time August comes around.

Olivia and Eve have been in lockdown together, taking daily walks and watching as much Netflix as they can handle to get them through the day and the rest of lockdown.

Now, lets take a trip across the Atlantic to Massachusetts. Jocelyn Anctil lives in Westford, MA, and has been self-isolating with her family since the end of February.

She left her university, Nazareth College in Rochester, New York, to be with her family during the pandemic.

Jocelyn (second right) during her universities Spirit Week
Credit: Jocelyn Anctil

Joceyln, 20, and her family have become increasingly irritated by how the government has handled the pandemic, particularly in not taking the necessary steps when the virus first entered the country.

Joceyln’s county in Massachusetts was originally the worst hit in the state and the governor issued a stay at home advisory but it was not mandatory.

Anctil said: “I understand he believes he should not ask the citizens of Massachusetts to not leave their house but at the same time I feel like there’s a better way to regulate who is leaving their house.

“Yesterday, I was driving myself and I saw a house to streets down from me was having a party while my whole family has not left our house in a month. It seems counterproductive.”

A little journey to the west, lives Zoe McKen in New York City, the worst hit in America.

High school student Zoe, 17, lives in Jamaica, Queens and she says living in the city has been hard because everything is shut down.

She says, everything is shut down and the city has changed. Nobody is outside and her herself has only been able to go outside a couple of times to walk her dog.

Credit: Zoe McKen

Zoe also said she thinks the state government are doing their best despite the large amount of cases.

Similar to the UK, Zoe’s school has been cancelled and her three AP exams have been reduced from 3 hours to 45 minutes, which she said “could be a good thing I guess”.

Her summer plans are what have been most affected as she was hoping to go back to the summer camp she worked at last summer. She says: “whether we are working or not has yet to be fully decided as we are waiting to hear more information from the state.”

Zoe said she thinks the state of New York’s government is doing the best it can despite being the worst affected area in the US.

Her city has dramatically changed and it is unknown when life will return to the city that never sleeps.

The Coronavirus Pandemic has dramatically changed everyone’s lives and we are all uncertain about when ‘normality’ will return.

If you feel like you are experiencing any Coronavirus symptoms please follow the advice from the National Health Service- found here and NHS Inform. Save Lives, Stay at Home

Feature Image Credit: Metro UK

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Journalism and Politics student// Editor-in-Chief 2021/22

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