Senior Aide Dominic Cummings, who helped to create the ‘Stay at Home’ lock-down rules, recently justified his reasons for driving 260 miles during lock-down in March/April; he wanted to be near relatives so that his 4 year old son would be looked after if he and his wife were too sick with Covid-19, as they were both showing symptoms. They stayed self-isolating in a cottage on his father’s farm, didn’t see his parents, and then drove back to London after 15 days.
Now one of the junior ministers Douglas Ross (Under Secretary of State for Scotland) has resigned due to Mr Cummings’ stretching of Government lock-down rules. Mr Ross says that the senior aide’s views are not shared by the majority of ordinary people, as they didn’t get to say goodbye to loved ones or visit sick relatives because they were doing as instructed and staying at home.
Scotland’s chief medical officer, Catherine Calderwood, had to resign after been caught out going to her holiday home twice. Boris went to Chequers to convalesce, and Prince Charles has been self-isolating at Balmoral even though Nicola Sturgeon tried to dissuade people from visiting the Highlands. Generally, people will take the best option for themselves and their families no matter who they are. Mr Cummings has refused to resign, and this is why the story is dragging on so much.
The news on Monday evening showed hundreds of people sitting on Southend beach, who did not appear to be social distancing. There were at least 20 people sitting together in our churchyard on one day last week, chatting and laughing. Groups of children cycle around our village without a care in the world. I expect people are following the Cummings’ story and say that if he can stretch the rules, then so can they.
In my opinion Mr Cummings and his wife should have stayed at home. They did not become totally incapacitated through illness, and even if they had done they could have gone to hospital and sorted out childcare from there. Thousands of ordinary people have the same problem as him and have to look after their children however they’re feeling without the luxury of having obliging and wealthy parents with acres of land to self isolate on.
But this poses another question: If the selfsame parents looking after children did have wealthy obliging parents with empty cottages on acres of land, would they have also gone to stay with them if they were showing Covid symptoms? Human nature being what it is, I would say that yes, the majority would have gone in the hope of not getting caught out. Parents have a need to ensure their children are cared for if they cannot do so, and let’s face it, who is going to turn down an offer of childcare if it’s offered in this situation? Nobody can really ask friends and neighbours to look after children coming from a Covid-19 house, and so relatives are really the only ones to ask.
However, many people think as Mr Cummings is in the public eye he should have set an example to the masses. He didn’t, and so I expect we’ll see even more Government guidance rules flouted in the coming weeks by ordinary people who are sick of people in authority with their ‘don’t do as I do, do as I say‘ philosophy.
The press will not let this matter drop; they’ll worry away at it because it sells newspapers. Boris stands by his senior aide. We’ll have to see what happens…
P.S – On a totally different tack… is there any top Government official who doesn’t have millionaire parents and therefore didn’t go to an exclusive private school?