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Boris Johnson is struggling to inspire trust on coronavirus

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Behind a lectern, staring down a camera at the nation, the boy who wanted to be world king would be forgiven for having second thoughts. The prime minister who only ever sought power for power’s sake, who prefers soundbites to substance and bluster to truth, will now be leading Britain through the greatest public health emergency in a generation.

On Monday, protesters gathered outside the gates of Downing Street dressed in hazmat suits, gloves and face masks to press Boris Johnson to put the UK “into lockdown” to tackle the coronavirus. Only 36% of Britons trust Johnson on coronavirus, according to a new poll, with many believing greater measures are needed. This can only have been stoked by interventions from a large number of scientists and politicians – rightly or wrongly – strongly criticising the UK’s outlier strategy.

If faith in the government is low, worried individuals will take things into their own (thoroughly washed) hands. One international online campaign – succinctly named “Stay the fuck home!” – has emerged with the aim of stopping the coronavirus spreading. “Our governments are failing us,” the website claims. “Slow reactions, public appeasement policies, and their urge to stabilise the........

© The Guardian