When my wife died of Covid early in the pandemic, my family and I obeyed Boris Johnson’s laws and rules. I couldn’t see her in hospital, couldn’t hold her hand as she died. Our two daughters and three grandchildren drove 100 miles up the motorway, clutching a letter from the funeral director explaining why they were on the motorway in case they were questioned by the police. We met in the churchyard before the burial and bid tearful farewells there, as we were not allowed to meet in our family home. No service in the church, no other relatives or friends present as only six mourners were allowed. Our son-in-law had to stay at home as he would have been the forbidden seventh mourner.
Johnson flouted his own laws and rules. He partied his way through them. Am I angry? Anger doesn’t even touch the sides of how I feel about this pathetic excuse for a man, and I suspect that the majority of us little people share my views, will never forget and will never forgive.
I actually cried with anger on reading Michael Fabricant’s assertion that many nurses and teachers probably had a post-work drink in their staffroom. I worked as a midwife on a postnatal ward during the pandemic, and our tiny staffroom, which would normally seat two people, was strictly for the use of one person at a time in order to abide by the two-metre rule. The only place we could eat was the hub set up to provide us with somewhere to have a break, and most of us avoided that for fear of catching Covid. After each shift, we bundled our uniforms into a washable bag and headed home.
My husband made me sit in the back seat of the car with all the windows open as he was scared of contracting it. When I reached home, I put the whole washable bag in the washing machine and jumped into the shower before hugging my children, in order to protect them. I am not sure where in this routine Fabricant thinks I might have stopped for a post-work drink.
West Wickham, London
My son is an A&E doctor. He worked throughout the pandemic. When he returned home after long and gruelling shifts he stayed in and did not socialise with others, even on his birthday. He did not break the rules.
My mother is 93 and lives in sheltered accommodation. Throughout the pandemic she remained isolated and alone, and I did not visit her. She did not break the rules.
My wife and I stayed at home apart from exercise. We shopped online. We did not socialise. We did not break the rules.
Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak and many others who set the rules and urged everyone else to follow them partied in Downing Street. They broke the rules and broke the law.
Entitled, arrogant and out of touch. If they don’t go now they should be turfed out at the next election.
I take great comfort from the fact that Boris Johnson, family and pals were partying while I was in hospital. At the time, I was emerging from a 40-day coma, bewildered and confused, wondering where I had been. The lovely people in the two hospitals where I was treated knew that my mental state depended on me seeing my wife and family, and so were able to sneak three outdoor encounters under restricted conditions. Looking back on that time, remembering the strange, disconnected and delusional feelings I had, I can at least feel relieved that the folks running the country were having a good time. I’m sure the appallingly low-paid health workers who fought to save my life must feel similarly grateful. How else can we learn to respect our betters?
Last April, a great friend of mine died of Covid in a nursing home. Because of the rules, her husband was not allowed to see her body. Since then he has been very distressed because he thinks his wife has left him. This morning, for the umpteenth time, I said: “That’s not what happened, she died.” And for the first time he put two and two together and said: “That could be why they have been extra nice to me this week.”
I don’t know if the new reality will stick. Maybe next week he will go back to believing she is off with her new fancy man, but I fully believe that had the nursing home trashed the rules, as Boris Johnson did, and let him see her body, his remaining life would have been sad, but not in the horrible deserted way that he has been feeling.
St Andrews, Fife