IFAIR’s Series in Times of Corona: Today from the UK
For British youth, it seems that Covid-19 is simply just another aggregate in the slurry of our current disillusionment. After years of whistleblowing the slow erosion of the NHS, the lack of social welfare, limited job opportunities, the cruelty of the modern free market and housing sector, it turns out that we have been proven right. Jeremy Corbyn – a final symbol of hope for lots of us, brutally defeated in December 2019 – has even said so.
The virus has laid bare the failures of the UK, even more so than Brexit, and we are feeling the most pressure. Young Brits are the ones stacking the shelves, caring for the vulnerable, delivering the takeaways, being praised for our work, whilst those lucky enough to work from home self-isolate. We do so, though, knowing we have been deserted by our government, with little support.
Sadly, we don’t work these jobs out of a sense of duty, like the anachronistic ‘Blitz Spirit’ that is painting the headlines, but because we have no alternative. Our future was bleak before this, and now we’ve either lost our jobs or have to risk our health to keep the ones we have in order to pay the rent. If only we could afford mortgages and have them graciously frozen by the government. Once this is all over, we will be the ones in the precarious positions that suffer the brunt of the economic fallout, coupled with the robbing of our future under Brexit; but we wouldn’t expect anything else. We’ve been abandoned.
Will graduated in Summer 2019 with a First Class degree in Modern History and Politics from Royal Holloway University, London, specialising in intellectual history. He moved to Berlin soon-after, hoping to settle before Brexit, but has returned home to support family during the Covid-19 pandemic.