By Sunday afternoon, news of Queen Elizabeth II contracting coronavirus had filtered across London along with phone alerts bringing information to many about their weekend business. But as the public and political leaders reacted, many were quick to reflect on how the news came as the government plans to reinstate the last remaining coronavirus restrictions.
Some say the queen’s illness has sent people home simply because of how susceptible the wider population is to the virus.
Hussein Ahmed, 34, who was waiting for a bus in North London, said: “It has no boundaries, that’s what it told us. “Whether you’re a queen or a king or a commoner, someone with high power is nothing to worry about; you are getting it. “
Gail Smith, who was walking with his friend in the pouring rain in North London, said they were aware of the news and were saddened and worried for the queen. However, they added, they were not surprised to see it reached the royal family as there are still so many people infected in London and across the rest of England.
“She has to be the best protected high-status person, and she is old,” Ms. Smith said. “And she’s generally a pretty healthy person, but that shows how difficult it is to protect people from this.”
A wave of encouragement and support from across the country and beyond broke out on social media on Sunday after Buckingham Palace first announced the news, featuring politicians and commentators .
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote on Twitter: “I’m sure I speak on behalf of everyone wishing the Queen a speedy recovery from Covid and a speedy return to good health.”
I’m sure I speak on behalf of everyone wishing the Queen a speedy recovery from Covid and a speedy return to good health.
– Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) February 20, 2022
Other members of the government also expressed support, including Sajid Javid, Britain’s health minister, who wrote on Twitter that he wished the “Queen a speedy recovery.”
Members of the opposition Labor Party also expressed their support through social media. “Get well soon, madam,” said Keir Starmer, leader of the group, wrote on Twitter.
The 95-year-old Queen, Britain’s longest-serving monarch, marked the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne this month.
Many assume her infection comes as the government is preparing to lift final restrictions, and considering how people can learn to live with the coronavirus doesn’t hurt many either.
“24 hours before #BorisJohnson announced the end of covid restrictions Queen confirmed the virus,” said Andrew Pierce, a political commentator for The Daily Mail, a tabloid, wrote on Twitter“Will he change his mind now?”
The timing of the queen’s positive test was also evident to many on the streets of London on Sunday as they made their way through a windy morning.
Matt Treadwell, 47, who works in mental health for the National Health Service, said it was another signal that the pandemic was not over.
“It’s not a great thing for a 90-year-old lady, so I guess we’re wondering how serious it is,” Mr Treadwell said of the queen. But he was quick to reflect on the government’s shift in stance on the virus at a critical time.
“The fact that no other country in the world is doing this at this point as far as I can tell doesn’t give me a lot of confidence,” he said. “It was a political decision.”
Others point out that the coronavirus infection is the last in an already long string of hardships that the queen has faced less than two months out of the year, including the settlement of her son Hoang’s sexual abuse lawsuit. Prince Andrew; an investigation into a charity run by her eldest son, Prince Charles; and Charles’ own positive virus test.
“What more can be thrown at Your Majesty this year?” asked Paul Brand, editor for the British channel ITV News.
https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/02/20/world/queen-elizabeth-covid Queen Elizabeth Tests Positive for Covid-19: Live Updates