The evolving response to the pandemic, especially with the Omicron variant, is being handled differently depending on the country. In the United Kingdom, Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson implemented wide-ranging mandates and restrictions in 2020 and early 2021 in a bid to stem the spread of the disease. Political backlash, due to public weariness over the extent of pandemic-related restrictions, became severe enough for the British government to change course. Prime Minister Johnson yesterday announced the lifting of many COVID restrictions across England, with the government also issuing a cautionary reminder that the virus ‘hasn’t magically disappeared’.
The easing of restrictions in England, originally set to expire on January 26th, is happening while governors on both sides of the aisle in the U.S. have extended state emergency orders, and some major cities place additional vaccine mandates on bars, restaurants, and large venues. Some locales have even discussed imposing fines for the unvaccinated.
At some point the pandemic will become endemic and we will have to live with it, not live for it.
Like in the UK, the backlash in the U.S. has been quite striking, but some U.S. leaders have doubled down on restrictions. Not surprisingly, polling data on how Americans view President Biden’s handling of the outbreak skews along party lines, however approval ratings amongst independents have fallen from over 50% to about 38%. If approval ratings for independents continue to drop, there could be a major tsunami in the upcoming mid-term elections.
What do you think- Will the U.S. follow the strategy in the UK or keep up with restrictions?
~ Brian Kasal- The Leadership Matrix
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