Efforts to combat the COVID-19 crisis brought mountains of legislation and guidance to coerce or encourage people to stay at home and reduce the spread of the virus. During peak lockdown in the United Kingdom (UK) regulations defined when people could or could not leave their homes. Meanwhile guidance on social distancing advised people to stay within ‘households’. This paper explores the legislation under lockdowns in the UK from March to October 2020 and the implications for women’s gendered caring roles. The regulations and guidance assumed that households were separate units and ignored the interdependencies which exist between households and between individuals and wider society. The continuing focus in the lockdown regulations has been on households as autonomous, safe, adequate and secure. This overlooks the interdependency of human life, gendered aspects of caring and the inequalities of housing and living conditions, highlighted by feminist scholarship.
- ethics of care