Phillip Schofield and Matthew Wright clashed on This Morning as they discussed whether coronavirus ‘trumped’ people’s mental health during the pandemic.
Speaking via video link to Phillip and Holly Willoughby on Monday’s instalment, Matthew said that he believes the virus ‘should come first’ over people’s mental health.
Last week the TV presenter revealed he feared that his entire family had contracted Covid-19, after his neighbour tested positive for the virus.
The 55-year-old appeared alongside radio host Julia Hartley-Brewer where they discussed the latest news headlines.
The heated debate came about as they discussed the reports that Boris Johnson is going to announce ‘tighter lockdown restrictions’ today.
The alleged restrictions will mean compulsory mask wearing outside and a ban on social bubbles.
‘I heard over the weekend of five 17-year-olds who took their own lives because they can’t take this any more,’ Phillip began.
‘Now, if officials say, this is only speculation at the moment that they are set to abolish support bubbles.
‘I would say if you start taking support bubbles away from people then you once again throw the mental health of every generation in this country into utter chaos, Matthew?’
‘Mental health was in crisis before Covid. Suicides hit a peak in 2019 as I recall,’ Matthew replied.
‘Cancer patients are being denied treatments as well, the reason for that is that there are more people with Covid facing imminent death.’
‘This is only alleged, we don’t know if this is actually going to happen this afternoon,’ Phillip chipped in. ‘If this is the case would you take away people’s social bubbles?’
Matthew went on to explain that he is worried he gave one of his elderly neighbours, who is in his social bubble, Covid.
He continued: ‘I have spent the last two weeks worrying that I have given the old boy in the old folks’ home, who has been in our bubble for the last year. I’ve worried that I have given him Covid as he came to our house legally on Christmas Day.’
‘Matthew where have you been to have got it?’ Phillip interrupted.
‘We don’t know where we got it,’ he replied. ‘We think possibly from [my daughter] Cassady from one of her little chums or maybe from the pub Friday 18th before lockdown.’
‘It all sounds a bit hysterical Matthew,’ Phillip weighed in.
‘Yes, you’ve got to be very careful here, yes you’ve got to look after people but what about the support you’ve given that “old guy” as you’ve called him.
‘The reason he’s in your bubble is that I’m assuming that he’s completely on his own. Take away that bubble and that guy is on his own.’
‘It’s a very difficult line,’ Matthew replied.
‘I am phoning him every day to find out that he is OK and he had tightness of chest between Christmas and New Year and I started totally panicking about it, but he’s come out the other side.
‘He hasn’t had a test result back yet and he’s had no symptoms. His mental health would have undoubtedly suffered if he was on his own.
‘But if he died of Covid I would suggest that trumps mental health concerns.’
‘It’s a nightmare for medics to try and balance the different needs of the country,’ he added.
‘But at the moment with Covid in full swing. I think it should be Covid first.’
This Morning airs daily at 10am on ITV.
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