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How ‘living with Covid’ is helping keep England’s infections stubbornly high

A year on from ‘freedom day’, government messaging promoting a sense of the pandemic being over is having the opposite effect, experts say

When Boris Johnson trailed plans for what many called “freedom day” in England – exactly one year ago – he urged the public not “to get demob happy”. His decision to drop the remaining Covid restrictions came as infections were on the rise but the firebreak of summer holidays was imminent. “If we can’t reopen our society in the next few weeks,” he told a Downing Street briefing, “when will we be able to return to normal?”

In the event, there was no rush back to “normal” life. After 16 months of pandemic pain, the public was cautious. On the whole, people made only tentative moves back towards old patterns of behaviour. They became more relaxed about social distancing and “risky social mixing”, but that trend had begun after the brutal Alpha wave and the start of mass vaccinations six months earlier.

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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