There is little else that columnists and media commentators are able to write about other than the ever-changing coronavirus outbreak. With new restrictions now in place, columnists assess how people will cope.

The Guardian

While essential supermarket visits are among the few things people can do, albeit with stores feeling the strain on the supply chain, PollyToynbee says the middle class are about to discover the cruelty of Britain's benefits system.

She wrote: "Millions of people are about to discover something they didn’t know about British life. There is no longer a safety net. People who have paid tax and national insurance for years and never been near the social security system will be turning to it in their hour of need; yet far too late, like trapeze artists falling through the air, they will find that the net beneath them has been lowered dangerously close to the ground and is badly torn.

"If these people once believed relentlessly misleading tabloid tales of benefit scroungers, they will have a rude awakening."

She went on to say: "These millions discovering DWP [Department of Works and Pensions] brutality at first hand will no longer be deceived by the old poison shaming those on benefits as loafers, frauds and “not people like us”. Benefits offer penury, not a life of Riley. Rishi Sunak has been lavishly praised, not least for his empathic language: “We will be judged by our capacity for compassion”. But his compassion will be judged by how far he keeps benefit rates below the most basic poverty line."

The Scotsman

Mark O’Donnell wrote in his column that family life, social life and our working lives have all been changed.

He said many people are anxious about the wellbeing of at-risk ­family and friends, and for their jobs and future, and there is understandably great concern over how long this virus will have such an enormous impact on our society.

Mr O'Donnell added: "Although we don’t yet know how long we will have to take such drastic actions as a result of coronavirus, we do know our society will owe a great debt of gratitude to our social care staff and many others when we come through to better times. Whilst we appreciate that there will be long-term economic consequences of the pandemic across different sectors of society, it will also be clear to all that a new and different conversation is required about the real and sustained resources social care services need to continue their vital role."

The Independent

In his column Tom Peck looked at the public's reaction to unfolding events. He said: "Don't mock the panic-buyers in Asda. Ask why Boris Johnson lost the public's trust."

Mr Peck went on to say: "It’s very easy to either laugh or cry at the vast queues of non-socially distanced shoppers outside your local Asda.

"But there can be no doubt that people are profoundly confused about what they should and shouldn’t and can and cannot do, and there can be no doubt that that is not entirely their fault.

"Whenever the advice on coronavirus appears to contradict itself, the stock answer, from Boris Johnson or from his leading scientific advisers, is that all that has changed is the speed through which we are moving through the gears of a fixed plan. But even within that context, the information meted out to the British public, who don’t all necessarily pay as much attention to what’s been said as a political journalist might, has been a truly impenetrable mess."

The Daily Express

Stephen Pollard could not be clearer with his advice in his column. He has weakened immune system and is susceptible to infection following a leukemia diagnosis five years ago.

He said: "If you don’t practise social distancing, you could kill me."

Mr Pollard thinks the government didn't turn its advice into an order earlier is because it knows that any form of lockdown can only last a limited time.

He added: "This is not some overhyped panic. It is a matter of life and death – my life and my death, and that of the rest of the 1.5 million of us who have been told we have to "shield" ourselves by staying at home for the next 12 weeks. I want my two children, aged eight and 10, to have a father when this pandemic passes. And I think: how dare those selfish people endanger that?"