Freedom from Covid-19? What freedom?

I haven’t been to my favourite pub in Edinburgh since the week prior to lockdown.

A return to the pub is high up on the list of things for people to do once restrictions are relaxed.

In fact, I can’t remember the last time I sat indoors to drink a pint.

This is by no means a unique experience over lockdown, I am certainly under no illusion that I am worst hit by Covid-19

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I am also acutely aware that I am lucky enough to not be shielding. I have seen family and friends and can do almost all of the things that make life enjoyable.

But with the talk of ‘Freedom Day’ in England and Scotland’s own plans to move to a similar level of restriction, I can’t help but feel increasingly spiteful of government decision making.

For those between the age of 18 and 30, our real ‘freedom day’ is more like the end of September or early October.

I received my vaccine relatively early among my friends of similar age (I am 26) in late June, and will most likely have to wait until late August for a second jab and then a further two weeks for full protection.

In the interim, I am petrified of catching or spreading Covid-19.

My natural affinity with hypochondria doesn’t help and my rational brain – the one that knows my risk of death or serious illness is low – fails to stave off the nerves.

But it doesn’t stop me from looking at those 30 years older than me, fully vaccinated, enjoying a pint in their local, and wondering why young people are being sacrificed to the viral wolves of Covid before they have the same degree of protection as the rest of the population.

With cases as high as they are, I simply don’t feel safe returning to my favourite pub for that long-awaited pint until I am double-jabbed.

Freedom from Covid-19 only rings true when all individuals feel safe, not when the government decides the economy requires rescuing.

Young people have sacrificed 18 months of what is supposed to be their ‘best years’.

But the government says it can’t make those older than 30 wait just more two months – during which cases could drop and vaccine rates rise – for the youngest and those most likely to live with long-term effects of Covid to be equally protected.

I am aware I am oversimplifying the issue here; the policy balance of harm of lockdown versus harm of Covid and the hope from the successful vaccine programme is more nuanced and complex than is often communicated.

But this doesn't feel like freedom.

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