There has been an abundance of warnings in the media lately about going abroad this summer, and to put it plainly, it sucks. Okay, I know it is definitely needed to help protect the work everyone has put in, and I don’t oppose it in the slightest, and I completely support a longer ban if deemed necessary.
But my grandad has told me one too many times these are supposed to be the years of my life. Yet all of my twenties so far have, for the most part, been spent at home. So, when my flatmates started chatting about going far-and-wide this summer and doing what we are ‘supposed to do with our youth’, I got excited. And now we are not and it sucks. However, I think we are going to do what we have been for the rest of the pandemic. Making the best of it.
The vaccine rollout has been going rather amazingly, with nearly half of the country having received their first jab. With one of the most successful vaccine programmes in the world, “we can’t put at risk the gains [of it]”, asserts Defence Secretary Ben Wallace.
However, the UK’s relative success means the places we are comparing it to are not having as much luck. The EU rollout has not been as fast, and the recent AstraZeneca scare set it back even further. This has meant the government are as anti-EU as ever (shocking, I know), closing off the first choice holiday destination for most Brits.
When we look to some of the most successful countries, one of the reasons they have stayed successful is because they have kept to themselves. Border control has not been a forte the UK has held during the pandemic – instead, this has been a widely criticised aspect of the stance they have taken. So, now the government are finally implementing some semblance of restriction, it is hard to complain when it has worked so well for those we look up to.
Potential complaints may not matter anyway, as in light of the successes, a recent YouGov poll has found that seven in ten Brits are up for giving up their holiday abroad if it means that the country at least can go back to business as usual. However, whether this is idealistic thinking and whether they may instead jump at the chance to go overseas if the government allows it despite advice is questionable.
There are some countries that are specifically preparing for an income of tourists. For instance, Greece is prioritising vaccinating all of its islands in an attempt to entice holidaymakers this summer. Again, the prospect is incredibly enticing, but there is still an edge of worry for me that would inevitably accompany it. If this is the media getting to be a little too much, or the potential stigma of going abroad while patient family and friends travel at home, I don’t know, but it means the holiday would have to be very cheap for me to go on it.
In any case, do not fear, there is still hope for a classic, um, ‘sunny’ UK holiday. Now, I don’t know if I speak for anyone else, but I have not seen that much of Britain at all. With newspapers bombarding us with the 10 best places to grab a pint, to go camping, to see the sea in the UK, perhaps this summer is a chance to have a break in somewhere you’ve never been.
We can pump money back into the dwindling economy, and honestly, a rain-filled weekend camping somewhere new sounds better than nothing. If you are feeling very adventurous, perhaps pop on up to Scotland and see what they have to offer.
Maybe I am being a bit defeatist, giving up too easily in the face of adversity. But, I would hate to see the disastrous effects of last summer being repeated in whatever capacity. I also think it’s important to remember that we will get there eventually. University certainly isn’t everything, and putting too much emphasis on our youth can perhaps devalue everything else to come. We will still be able to fear for our lives on Ryanair, we will still eventually be able to step on an unpebbled beach, and we will still drink until we forget what a pandemic is. It may not be on a Tuesday night, but that is okay.