Thousands of people are heading to Cornwall. Please turn around and stay away.

Queue of traffic on motorway going to Cornwall
Emily Apple

I’m watching scenes of traffic building up on the M5 and A30 on the way to Cornwall and I’m shaking with rage. Boris Johnson has lifted lockdown restrictions far too early – and people are heading to Cornwall. Estimates are that 80,000 people could arrive this weekend. This incandescent rage I’m experiencing is so strong that I’ve felt the need to write this instead of enjoying the week’s leave I’m currently supposed to be taking.

But make no mistake. My rage isn’t against those travelling. And it’s not against local businesses which have no choice but to open up. It’s against this government that’s prioritised money over people’s lives.

Okay, I am a bit angry at people travelling too…

Only that’s not quite true. My utter rage is against the government. But I’m also angry with people. I’m angry at the rich people who can afford a second home or the extortionate rates charged by holiday lets, and at their arrogance that their need to get away trumps everything else. I’m not angry at inner-city families getting away from small flats. And I’m not angry at those visiting family they haven’t seen for months. But the reality is it’s not a cheap option to visit Cornwall for a week.

I’m angry because it’s selfish. I’m angry because it’s people not being able to see past their selfish ‘need’ for a holiday. And I’m angry that people can’t see that we only have one hospital with 15 critical care beds that’s stretched to capacity even during a normal summer season.

Yes, I’m angry because of the impact this has on my family and loved ones. I’ve spent months protecting vulnerable households, mine included. I’m upset because I can’t take advantage of the easing of any lockdown restrictions. While the rest of the country celebrates the fact that they can get a fucking haircut or a pint, those of us in rural communities who are facing an onslaught of visitors are having to think about locking down more.

Still, I’m lucky. I’m so incredibly lucky. I work from home. I have the option to stay indoors. I realise this. But I was looking forward to things easing slightly. I want desperately to hug my parents and spend an evening with them. I yearn to do tiny things that would make such a difference, things that were in sight until the rules changed. Now I don’t even want to go to my local shop for essentials during the day – I’ll go early and come straight home.

No end in sight

And now there’s no end in sight. I can only see things getting worse. So I am sorry if you’re here for a holiday and people like me aren’t welcoming you with open arms. I’m sorry that I don’t care that you’re one of the responsible ones who’s going to respect the rules. Because for each of you that says, ‘well, I’ve got PPE’, or ‘I’m going to do x, y, and z’, there’s a hundred twats who don’t give a shit.

If you’re thinking of coming to Cornwall, or any other beauty spot for that matter, there are serious questions you need to ask yourselves. Is your holiday worth overrunning that one hospital? How many deaths is your holiday worth? Albeit this is a question that many people don’t give a fuck about when they book their two weeks in a Turkish resort, maybe it’s time to start thinking about it.

Because you might want a holiday, but I want my mum, my dad, my sister, my partner, my aunt, my uncle, my best friend, and countless others who I know, and don’t know, to live. To survive this pandemic. My parents haven’t left their house in three months. They were just starting to think that they might be able to go to the beach again. Now they can’t. My vulnerable aunt and uncle live in a holiday hot spot. How long before the virus spreads through their community?

Please think again. Please stay away.

Yes, this is emotive. Yes, it’s a guilt trip. But honestly, I don’t care. You know what, I’d love a holiday too. But I wouldn’t take one because it’s not responsible.

And ultimately, because we’ve got a government that isn’t ever going to prioritise our safety over the economy, emotive guilt trips like these become necessary. Especially when we’ve got a population that’s excited about getting a fucking pint while the UK still has one of the highest coronavirus death rates in the world.

So if you’re coming to Cornwall, don’t expect the locals to be waiting for you with open arms or even socially distanced arms. It’s not because we’re snobs. It’s not because we’re selfish. It’s because we know the reality of the healthcare situation here. We know we have a vulnerable elderly population. We are just overwhelmed and upset by what your holiday is going to do to our communities. Please think again. Please stay away.

Featured image via Twitter/ Nostalgic Gamer

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  • Show Comments
    1. Why are you against people going to enjoy themselves in Cornwall? Are you being funded by the fascist party? People have been illegally held under house arrest for nearly four months going stir crazy with domestic abuse and child abuse rampant. no fresh air no sunshine. now that Herr boris has let them out on parole they just want to buoild up their immune system by going to the beach to get sunshine, which gives us vitamin D (essential for respiratory system) fresh air (essential for respiratory system) and grounding bodies by walking barefoot on the sand. You seem to want to put them all in a concentration camp! disgracefull attitude.

      1. You know I had a pet budgie called Joey and even it made more sense than the twatery you spout , talk about utter stupidity and disregard for all the science and experts who arer warning against this easing of lockdown.
        Leicester ring any bells , next .. the whole of Cornwall , you utter fool !

    2. I live in rural Devon and welcome these people with open arms.
      You’re against people holidaying in Cornwall, but you seem to love unlimited immigration and people coming into the country unchecked. Perhaps you can appreciate some of those concerns now. Yet again your hypocrisy knows no bounds. Please, engage your brain before writing this drivel.

      1. The people who seem to love allowing people unchecked into the country are your mates in the Tory Govt and Johnson , how long did it take them to enact any sort of checks at our air ports ,,,, you talk of hypocrisy , take a long look in the mirror the biggest one is right there .

    3. I see the trolls are out in force. Emily and I agree about this. I live in an area of Scotland that is similarly vulnerable to careless tourists. Our First Minister is being vilified by the Unionists and the Tories in particular because we have reduced the level of Covid 19 to manageable levels and are trying to keep it that way. She has said nothing about closing the border but it’s been spun that way by the press. She did suggest that it might, just might, be necessary to have medical checks.
      Like Emily I have hardly been out for the last three months and was just looking forward to being able to to visit my nearest town. I daren’t do this since it’s already being inundated with the kind of people Emily mentions.
      I am old enough to remember when holidays were not an option during WW2 and in the succeeding years when a holiday meant days out with a picnic or a fish supper or staying with relatives. No I don’t want to return to those days. My point is that people survived without the kind of holidays people seem to demand nowadays. For one year it isn’t going to kill you but it might very well kill others.

    4. I also live in Cornwall and am very concerned about the huge influx of people coming down.
      Of course I want visitors to enjoy their holidays after the traumatic last few months of ‘imprisonment’, but people ought to be aware of the very fragile infrastructure in Cornwall.
      Cornwall has a resident population of just over half a million. During the summer months that increased dramatically. Cornwall is a very poor county which formerly attracted EU ‘Objective One funding’ to fund essentials such as public transport.
      In this current situation it is important for visitors to remember that Cornwall has only one acute hospital for the entire county! Out of season this struggles to cope with resident population, frequently classified in the highest emergency grading ( Opal 4?). Distances to this hospital are sometimes as much as 70 miles and public transport is very limited.
      Whilst Cornwall needs to rebuild its economy, by attracting visitors etc., it also needs to protect its resident population.
      We currently enjoy quite a low ‘R’ rate, but this will undoubtedly increase considerably with a huge influx of people.
      It is already obvious that people can’t manage to adhere to social distancing rules and consume alcohol as recent events show.
      If you do decide to visit Cornwall, please be aware of these issues and be sensitive to local needs, not just your own. X

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