‘Like the English civil war’: Covid crisis inflames neighbour disputes

Professional mediators report a surge in requests for help as community tensions boil over

A couple are having raucous parties in flagrant breach of the “rule of six”. An elderly woman with symptoms faces the fury of other residents by touching a communal door. A music teacher is imposing her students’ discordant notes on the flat downstairs. And a small child following an exercise routine has prompted a neighbour to declare: “I want to kill Joe Wicks.”

Over six months of the coronavirus crisis, community relations have been strained to the point that one concerned retiree in the south-west told the Guardian: “It’s like the English civil war.”

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