Last week we saw an update to announcements over shop closures by the UK government in light of the Coronavirus outbreak – listing vape shops among the businesses that were to temporarily close.
This built on the initial stance set out by the Prime Minister on the 24th March, stressing a need to maintain social distancing over the coming weeks to fight the threat posed by COVID-19. As a result, only ‘essential’ businesses such as pharmacies and grocery stores were told to remain open. Vape shops and a range of other locations that sell e-liquids were told to close.
While this is part of an increasingly co-ordinated approach to managing the pandemic – many observers have spoken out on the challenge it poses to regular vapers, especially those using devices as a replacement for tobacco products. But what exactly does this ruling mean for vapers, and what options are available for those concerned about being able to access vaping products?
Thankfully, we are able to remain open to ship to our customers and ship orders with great precautionary measures in place.
What Was the Ruling?
Deployed to add further detail to the PM’s initial announcement, the government guidance was brought in as a part of a nationwide lockdown, highlighting that: “we all need to do what we can to reduce the spread of coronavirus.” The documentation gives guidance on the businesses that will be required to close and a number of key exemptions – including supermarkets, corner shops, and post offices. While some of these locations may contain vaping products, there was no specific edict for ‘vaping only’ properties. Problematic too if you are accustomed to a specific brand.
As of 1pm on 26th March, the rules came into effect and were supported by police officers being granted increased powers to deliver on-the-spot fines for citizens judged to be breaking quarantine. These range from £60 ad-hoc penalties that increase in value for follow-on offences, doubling for each infraction.
The new laws place a great deal of discretion in an individual officer’s hands, and – while the fines are relatively light – it is important to abide by self-isolation as much as possible.
However, many have been concerned about regular vapers being able to access their products when needed, especially if they are using their devices in an attempt to cut back on smoking or as part of a concerted quitting effort. Luckily for all, the third paragraph of the order states “online retail is still open and encouraged and postal and delivery service will run as normal.”
This means that while bricks and mortar stores are closed, businesses with an online presence such as Vapour2 will be able to fulfil any orders to ensure you’re still getting your essentials.
Why Have Vape Shops Closed?
Simply put, the decision was taken in order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus and bring the UK’s efforts more in line with action being taken across the EU.
The recent period has seen lockdowns take place in heavily affected countries and concerted efforts to cut back on public gatherings and educate the populace about the genuine risk the Coronavirus represents.
The phrase on a lot of observer’s lips is the importance of ‘flattening the curve’ when it comes to managing the virus. This means spreading out the number of infections over a longer period of time and preventing ‘spikes’ of infection. If a large number of people are infected over a short period of time, we run the very real risk of overwhelming the existing health infrastructure in the UK – directly resulting in more deaths, staff burnout, and severe disruption to critical services as more and more individuals are hospitalised and unable to work.
‘Flattening’ is accomplished by reducing the risk of spread. This involves actions like social distancing, voluntary isolation for those that are particularly vulnerable, and sticking to preventative hygiene to reduce the risk to others.
What Are the Genuine Risks of COVID-19?
While COVID-19 is a novel infection, we have begun to get a better understanding of the risks it poses over the last few months. The risks are twofold: infecting yourself and passing the infection to others.
When it comes to infecting yourself, the virus is dangerous because it combines a high infection rate with the ability to spread through your saliva or discharge from your nose and lungs. When a carrier sneezes or coughs, these particles are expelled from their respiratory tract onto any nearby surfaces, as well as remaining suspended in the air. Anyone can get it, but the risks aren’t only for those in the ‘vulnerable’ category.
Whilst over 70s have been designated as being ‘at risk’, younger individuals have been severely affected – with a 21 year old recently dying as a result of infection despite having no pre-existing conditions. This is because the virus causes respiratory inflammation that prevents the normal expanding and contraction of your lungs, reducing the amount of oxygen that can enter our bloodstream and producing a build-up in carbon dioxide.
The second risk is that, even if you believe the virus will not adversely affect you, it can spread from you to other people. Remember that one ‘super spreader’ in South Korea directly infected 37 individuals because they did not stay home from church on a Sunday. Many of those affected may be in a physical state that makes it difficult to fight off the virus.
Simply put, the best, most responsible, and safest option to all of us is to just remain at home and bring the risk of infection as low as possible.
What Should I Do?
If you are struggling with your vaping, managing your shopping, or just finding the entire quarantine process difficult, it is important to take responsible, measured action. Some essential considerations include:
Not Going Back to Smoking: If you are struggling to get hold of vaping materials, it’s worth trying your best not to backslide to smoking cigarettes. While research about vaping is ongoing, the well documented issues that surround smoking can put you at significant risk if you contract a condition that puts heavy strain on your lungs. Whist quitting is ideal, doing so during this time can be exceptionally difficult – try your best to cut back or manage your habit responsibly.
Keeping Healthy: One of the most important things we can do is get as much exercise as possible to improve cardiovascular health and help lift our mood. Channels on YouTube are a great way to start your day with a workout or yoga; ranging from introductory exercises to more complex options as you grow in experience.
If you have access to a garden, taking a meal outside can help open up your space and let you feel less confined. It also means being responsible with those you are quarantining with and giving them space and time to themselves during the day to prevent cabin fever.
Ordering Online: While there is no need to panic buy, picking up enough of the e-liquid of your choice can help ensure that last-minute shop dashes are kept to an absolute minimum. Buying from a reputable online store will be fully regulated and – if you are worried about your package being contaminated in transit – remember that the Royal Mail have made changes to their parcel handling, allowing you to shop with safety and confidence.
Shop our online store for all your favourite e-liquids, batteries and replacement blanks, and have them delivered right to your door. If you have any other questions or queries about our products, please do not hesitate to get in touch directly and let our team know exactly what you need from our current range and what option works best for you.