The real reason why Boris Johnson should resign

Ed Davey recently called for Boris Johnson’s resignation, as reported by Lib Dem Voice.

Ed spoke of the terrible suffering that many people were enduring as a result of lockdown rules, while at the same time, staff of 10 Downing Street were holding parties.

Millions obeyed the lockdown rules, often at great personal cost. They missed funerals, cancelled weddings and said goodbye to loved ones on video calls – some on the very day that Number Ten illegally hosted a garden party. Boris Johnson has become a threat to the health of our nation, and for the sake of the country still gripped by this awful pandemic, he must resign

I agree with what Ed said. And yet… there is something about Ed’s statement that I feel illustrates what has been wrong with the Lib Dem response to the pandemic. The statement is correct, and yet the emphasis is wrong.

“They missed funerals and said goodbye to loved ones on video calls”. Ed does not seem aware that this tragic statement is a complete sentence, and is, in itself, with no need for elaboration, the reason why Boris should resign. I have omitted Ed’s reference to weddings, because although this also caused great distress, at least a wedding can be postponed and held at a later date. But there is no second chance to be with a loved one in their final hours. There is no second chance to say a final goodbye at their funeral. Thousands of people had a miserable end of life, alone, denied visits by their loved ones, and this can never be put right.

We should be clear that this was a violation of human rights, that there can be no justification, and that this atrocity is the reason why Boris Johnson should resign. We should be clear that this would still be the case even if Boris Johnson himself had kept all the rules to the letter. Ed is outraged that Boris “broke the rules”, but does not clearly state that the far greater outrage was the existence of rules that forced people to die alone.

It is true that the revelations of apparent rule breaking by Boris Johnson and his staff are the final insult. It is always unacceptable for a government to break the rules that it has made. But I think the thing that has caused the greatest distress about these revelations is that it would seem that Boris and his staff knew that the draconian rules that they had imposed on the nation were unnecessary. They apparently knew – or at least believed – that it was not really all that dangerous to socialise with several people from other households. So they must have known that there was still less risk in allowing a daughter to visit her mother who was dying of cancer. (Admittedly the issue of visiting was more complex if the patient actually had Covid. But I would argue that if the person with Covid was near the end of their life, then their relatives should have been allowed to take the risk of visiting. They could have self-isolated afterwards. It is a human right to be able to visit a loved one who is dying, and it is a human right not to be forced to die alone.)

Ed claimed that Boris Johnson is “a threat to the health of our nation”. I would agree, but for different reasons from those that Ed seems to be implying. Boris Johnson has done terrible harm to the mental health of the nation, by inflicting cruel and unnecessary rules that, it now seems, he knew were unnecessary. He also did great harm to the physical health of the nation, by creating a situation in which many people were reluctant to approach the NHS, even when they had serious, perhaps life-threatening symptoms. Because Boris and his government had given the impression that it was more important for us to “protect the NHS”, than for the NHS to protect us.

Boris Johnson should resign, not for partying, but for the untold suffering caused by the heartless restrictions he imposed.

But sadly, all those who did not speak out against these cruel measures must also be regarded as complicit.

* Catherine Crosland is a member in Calderdale and joined the party in 2014

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48 Comments

  • I disagree with the whole thrust of this article..Johnson did not disregard the rules because “he knew (they) were unnecessary; he disregarded the rules because he believes that ‘rules’, in any shape or form, do not apply to him..
    Your “Boris and his staff knew that the draconian rules that they had imposed on the nation were unnecessary” ignores the fact that the vast majority of scientists in SAGE, including Sir Patrick Vallance (FRS FMedSci FRCP, Government Chief Scientific Adviser) and Professor Chris Whitty (CB FMedSci, Chief Medical Officer) stated time and again that they supported these measures and were quizzed by both Houses on these matters..As an aside many of those involved, and their families, received death threats and intense abuse for supporting the regulations that you describe as ‘draconian’ and ‘unnecessary’..

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 17th Jan '22 - 3:37pm

    Martin, How about the avoidable deaths from cancer as a result of lockdown? From suicide? The increase in stillbirths? The elderly people in care homes who just gave up the will to live when they could no longer have visitors?
    It may be a while before we know the full numbers, but it seems likely that lockdown will turn out to have caused more deaths than it saved

  • Chris Moore 17th Jan '22 - 3:43pm

    Catherine, you may not be aware of covid regulations in other countries.

    I live in Spain and have close contact with France and Italy.

    In March 2020 we were in total lockdown here; the response in the UK was comparatively lax and undoubtedly contributed to the UK over-taking Spain in cases and deaths.

    Regulations in Spain have been consistently stricter than in the Uk. The same has been true of France.

    On your argument, the whole political class here would have to resign. Ditto for France.

    With the benefit of hindsight, many decisions taken are questionable, but the broad thrust of the response in the UK, Spain, France and others isn’t remarkable or out of line with other countries round the world at all.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 17th Jan '22 - 3:43pm

    I value Catherine as a person of conscience and common sense.

    But whereas on many issues we agree, on how to deal with the pandemic we disagree.

    I again value the hearetfelt consideration of this article. But I again disagree.

    I agree with our friends above, Martin and expats.

    Johnson failed to protect the country. Open borders, lack of ppe, care homes, inconsistent rules, endless changes, often last minute, financial support with a tin ear to the lack of it for many, and more than anything, rule making, with rule breaking! This is indeed why he ought to resign. His few rules that might have, yes Catherine is perhaps right, been draconian, but might have been necessary, are seemingly not, only because of him and his poor and self indulgent approach and style.

    He built a team and staff similar. He and they ought to resign.

  • strongly disagree with the entire thrust of this article, it implies restrictions where not actually needed 2 control the pandemic protect lives.

    really dislike the arguments that anti-vaxers, those apposed to lockdowns make when they imply it was “lockdowns” that killed Cancer Patients. It was not.
    Cancer and the treatment for cancer puts these patients at extreme risk if they were to catch covid. It’s actually an argument for lockdowns in order to drive down transmission in the community to make it safer for these people to access treatment, we after all are a party that is supposed to care about the elderly and infirm and disabled, which as far as I am concerned is part of a social contract that means we all have to play a part in making society as safe and inclusive for them as possible, which does not mean allowing a deadly virus to rip that disproportionately effects the most vulnerable

    There is of course an entirely different argument when it comes 2 people not being able to access GP’s for face2face appointments. That was and continues to be a disgrace and should never have been allowed to happen as these are vital to catch early signs of cancers and other diseases…

    Suicides are terrible and everyone is a tragic loss to families, however, suicide rates actually fell during lockdowns https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-7749/ therefore I do not think it is appropriate to give the wrong impression that lockdowns lead to more suicides as this is not true.

  • I would like to see an investigation as to why suicide rates fell during lockdowns, as there must be important lessons to learn from the drop in rates.
    How many lives where saved because the DWP was not carrying out face to face assessments on vulnerable people, or, claimants where automatically given 12 month extensions to their benefits awards and so where not put under in some circumstances horrific distress?
    How many lives were saved by the unemployed who were spared the ordeal of being dragged into the job centre multiple times a week and dragged over the coals in order to access state support.

    There must be a reason for the drop in numbers during this time and this needs looking into ( sorry for going off topic, but beings the point was raised by the author, I wanted to take the opportunity to address)

  • I think this article is seriously inaccurate. The restrictions imposed by the Government had eminent scientific and medical support.

    The idea that Mr Johnson’s violations mean that the restrictions were unnecessary is an entirely erroneous deduction from the facts.

  • Chris Moore 17th Jan '22 - 5:05pm

    Matt, Durkheim’s classic work, Le Suicide, pointed out that suicide rates dropped at times of national crisis – usually wars.

    He attibuted this drop to a greater sense of solidarity at these times, countering the prevalent anomie – individualistic alienation from norms and other humans – which he believed characterised modern societies and was a contibutory factor favouring suicide.

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 17th Jan '22 - 5:15pm

    Chris Moore, its interesting that you mention the lockdowns in other countries. I had originally meant to say something about this in the article, but this wasn’t really possible within the word limit (even with the longer word limit that Lib Dem Voice now allows. I’m aware that the lockdowns in some countries, such as Spain and France, were in some ways harsher than ours. I understand that in Spain, children were not allowed outdoors at all for several weeks, and in France, at one stage, you couldn’t leave the house without a permit.
    So in some ways, our lockdown could be described as relatively moderate. But in this article I focused on the harshest aspects of our lockdown.
    I expect leaders of several other countries also ought to resign. I didn’t suggest that Boris Johnson was uniquely culpable. In fact Boris Johnson probably only imposed such harsh lockdown measures because other countries had done so first, and he was under pressure to follow their lead.

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 17th Jan '22 - 5:24pm

    Lorenzo, I’m sorry you disagree. I should mention that I am not suggesting that there should have been no restrictions at all. The requirement to work from home if possible, closing pubs etc for a time etc were sensible measures. It was also sensible to limit socialising between households, though I do feel that this should have been a matter for guidelines rather than laws. We could have had a semi lockdown, rather than the fullscale, harsh measures that Boris actually imposed.
    Do you not agree that it was unacceptable to ban visiting for hospital patients and care home residents? Even if they were at the end of their lives? These harsh measures did not even succeed in preventing infections. hospitals and care homes were among the places you were most likely to catch Covid

  • @Catherine

    We lost our father in law in Australia, due to me being a non-citizen and strict quarantine rules, we were unable to go back to OZ and had to watch the funeral on video. Am I angry at the Governments? No, I am angry at covid. The last thing we wanted to do was travel to Oz and put elderly mother in law at risk were we to bring covid with us, furthermore as primary carers for elderly parents in the UK, we also did not want to come back and put them at risk were we to bring it back.

    There has been a significant rise in expecting mothers having miscarriages, premature births and still births through CATCHING COVID.

    I am sorry Catharine, but all the arguments you make about those affected by lockdowns due to covid restrictions do not stand up to scrutiny when you look at the facts on the risks that covid poses to them directly.

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 17th Jan '22 - 5:32pm

    Mohammed, I do feel that Boris and his staff knew that the parties were not really dangerous. Lets face it, they were outdoors, and we know that transmission is very low outdoors. Perhaps the party in May 2020 was socially distanced, to some extent. I think they did deliberately make rules that they knew were harsher than necessary. Perhaps they thought that to say, “socialise in moderation, but be careful” was too confusing, so they made it “do not socialise at all”.

  • Andrew Melmoth 17th Jan '22 - 6:05pm

    ” How about the avoidable deaths from cancer as a result of lockdown?”

    One of the mistakes lockdown sceptics make is it to ascribe to the lockdown things which were caused by the pandemic. How would swamping the NHS with even more covid cases have improved cancer care? Surely it would have made it much worse. Sometimes it feels like people have somehow got it in their heads that if we hadn’t had lockdown we wouldn’t have had a pandemic.

  • Nonconformistradical 17th Jan '22 - 6:09pm

    @Catherine Jane Crosland
    “I do feel that Boris and his staff knew that the parties were not really dangerous.”

    Doesn’t matter. Boris & Co made the rules – they should set an example and abide by them. To the letter.

  • Malcolm Todd 17th Jan '22 - 6:15pm

    “It may be a while before we know the full numbers, but it seems likely that lockdown will turn out to have caused more deaths than it saved”

    This is sadly typical of the anti-lockdown argument (and its close relatives and frequent allies, the anti-vaccine campaign and the “Covid is just a bad flu” refrain). It’s just an allegation – something that you need to be true in order to justify your position. Given everything we know about Covid, it is extremely unlikely to be true – at the very least you could try to provide some actual evidence for the assertion.

  • >Boris and his staff knew that the draconian rules that they had imposed on the nation were unnecessary.
    What?
    Boris and some of his aides have exhibited type schoolboy behaviour: rules are for others and don’t apply to me. Followed by naughty school children trying to deny they did anything wrong when found out, because nudge nudge wink wink it was harmless jap as no one got hurt.

    One of the things I find quite interesting is given the number of events etc. and it is known that CoViD did circulate in Boris’s circle (and Westminster) that we didn’t see a much higher hospitalisation and death rate among MPs and their advisors.

    I suggest one of the charges against Boris isn’t that the rules were unnecessary but that he didn’t act quickly or decisively. The main reason CoViD and particularly the Kent variant – which arose during ‘lockdown’ went national so quickly was because ‘lockdown’ didn’t actually stop people moving around the country eg. people from Kent were still able to go into London and mingle with “coworkers” from the East Midlands.

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 17th Jan '22 - 6:56pm

    Nonconformistradical, I agree. Of course the people who make the rules should keep the rules. I said so in the article. The point I was making was that the reason the revelations of the parties caused such distress, was that people had been unable to visit dying loved ones, or attend their funerals, because of “the rules”, and now they discover that Boris and his staff do not really seem to have believed in the rules they imposed on others

  • Lorenzo Cherin 17th Jan '22 - 6:57pm

    Catherine, disagreement with this is normal, as ever here, no less , but amicable too.

    I agree wholly and strongly with our friends here.

    Matt as ever gives, with Andrew, and Malcolm, terrific reasons why the anti lockdown views are the reverse of sense on NHS capacity.

    Many countries even with far better levels of service, with regard at least to supply of staff and beds, , ie most in Europe and yes, even in America, did as we did during covid, banned visits. In the UK we did it in a panic c aused by lack of supply, a permanent thing in our NHS, poorly run often, poorly fuinded usually.

    As well as this, yes, it perhaps should have been allowed to have a visit if in the dramatic situation Catherine refers to. But Johnson did not intend to be cruel, nor his Health secretary. Their cruelty was their arrogance and indulgence.

    Adding more reasons does nothing but give excuses gto a pm and team who do not deserve that support.

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 17th Jan '22 - 7:08pm

    Matt, thank you for your comments. I’m not ignoring you. Its just that you have made many thought provoking comments, and I want to answer them fully. I will, but it may be tomorrow before I can do so.

  • @Catharine

    It seems to me that you are making the assertion that all those who were affected by the rules and abided by them must feel as though the rules were unnecessary as people like Boris Broke them…

    That has not been my experience at all.

    After seeing what mess the hospitals are in and how it was affecting patient care, even before omicron took off, I can fully understand why visiting numbers were restricted ( even though this was emotionally difficult on other family members) As it was plain to see the dangers that were posed to some very sick and vulnerable NON-Covid patients.

    I have seen the struggles of a single mother ( who was anti-lock down ) until her 17 year old son caught a rare cancer and was rushed to addenbrokes for life saving treatment and then her real ordeal in trying to navigate this world and keeping herself covid free, whilst trying to care for other children whilst also visiting her very sick son, who thankfully through the generosity of a stem cell transplant donner from Germany, has pulled through with treatment…

    There are many other examples I can give,
    do we now believe that because Boris and chums broke the rules, the rules were not necessary? No, we are angry at Boris for breaking rules whilst the rest of us were suffering, which is entirely different

  • Please dont think I am having a pop Catharine as I truly am not, I appreciate this article and allowing people to engage with it. I appreciate that lockdowns were hard for most people. I am in no way accusing you of this as I do not know your own personal circumstances and experiences, but one thing I have found most difficult over the last couple of years is from some people who are most strongly against lockdowns ( the hardcore antivaxers and anti-lockdowns) who will use other peoples situations, dying relatives, Cancers , mental health etc as reasons for their strong views, without even engaging with those people first to find out what their views are on the pandemic and lockdown and whether they agree with the rules.
    Whilst sometimes in life it is wanted and needed to have others add their voices to our own so we are heard, that is not at the expense of having our own voices drowned out.

  • Cummings blows the gaffe again :

    The Guardian, 19.26 tonight : “Boris Johnson lied about lockdown party, Dominic Cummings claims Johnson told MPs he did not realise 20 May 2020 event was social gathering but ex-aide says PM was urged not to allow it”………………………..

  • As I have mentioned before, I witnessed some terrible things in Hospital whist my dad was there due to the mess hospitals are in.
    Our Hospital went into lockdown and banned visitors though I had an exemption as a carer for my Father.
    The staffing was a nightmare, only 3 nurses and couple of assistants and physios to an entire ward, I am not joking.

    The patient opposite my father was on a nebuliser for something, but was also on limited water intake, prior to the ban on visitors his daughter would come daily and brush his hair, wet his lips etc .I knew she was doing 100 mile journey each day to see her Dad. I felt terrible when she was no longer able to visit.
    Then I watched him deteriorate daily, some days pleading for a nurse to come wet his lips with the lolly pop, but nobody came. It went against all my human instincts not to intervene. I asked the nurse if I could help him and was told off and that if I went near another patient I would have my carers pass revoked as I was only allowed to attend to my father…I watched other patients mess themselves as they pressed their buzzers and were needing a commode, but nobody came.. These memories will traumatise me for ever, but I had to put my father first.

    The day I watched them take the gentleman to the side room as I knew he was about to……………………….

  • die and they called the daughter to finally allow them to spend the last moments together will haunt me for the rest of my life and even now I lay awake at nights stuck with the memories.
    The daughter asked me how her Dad had been over the last week when she was not able to visit and I lied and said the nurses had taken such good care of him. I lay awake at night traumatised and burdened by the lie I told………..
    The Nurses were doing what they could with such few staff, but at the same time, there were very sick and vulnerable patients on that ward ( Non-Covid) and it was not hard to tell what would happen to most of them, were any of them to catch it, so on the flip side, I could see the need to restrict visitor numbers and like I said this was well before Omicron.

    When you have seen first hand what is happening on hospital wards and how patient care is suffering and that of families who are not able to be with loved ones in their time of need, you have a very different perspective of this pandemic.

    I do not blame the NHS or our nurses, they are working with what they have got, but I am angry at the Government, because I do not believe it had to be like this. There needed to have been far better education and transparency from the Government.

  • James Fowler 17th Jan '22 - 8:48pm

    I think this article is interesting and I applaud it. A year or so ago not many dared to challenge the dogma that the rules were there for everyone’s benefit. Now we’re beginning to hear that actually, they contained moral ambiguities and flaws in themselves. The central problem has always been that a culture of dogmatic public virtue creates unbearable tensions with the reality of private behavior, and indeed what it is to be a human. The human fallibility gets ‘problematised’, but to me one of worst impulses is the urge to create rules on grounds of strict moral virtue that make society unbearable to live in.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 17th Jan '22 - 10:49pm

    Matt

    Terribly poignant descriptions, you need to present these as articles or testimony of what you see, to the NHS, it may be govt that funds and leads, it is managers and stasff who implement and work.

    The NHS is appallingly run in many ways and areas. No choice for many, the left not even in favour of or supportive of choice. Blair was the best on getting this, but even he could not change a top down non individually oriented service.

    Some receive great care. Too many do not.

  • @Lorenzo

    I thought about writing an article about it for LDV, but I am not that articulate and besides, I think after the last couple of years, people are well aware of my views on the pandemic and are probably sick of hearing what I have to say… I just can not help jumping up and giving my two pennies worth whenever the issues arises on the site.

    But rest assured, I do have a very detailed letter written to my parents local Labour MP on my feelings and what I observed happening with other patients when my Dad was in Hospital, I have just been waiting for the right time to deliver it. Selfishly probably on my part, my Dad has not had the all clear yet from the Hospital and my reluctance has been if I rock the boat and Dad ended up in Hospital again, I would not get my Carers Pass again if I had put in a formal complaint now, Its been playing on my mind though.

    And rest assured when my Local Tory MP comes canvassing, I am going to have plenty of choice words to tell him what I think about him and his Party and the CRG during the worse public health crisis this country has seen in modern times.

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 18th Jan '22 - 7:36am

    Matt, I’m sorry I haven’t responded to your earlier comments yet, but I just wanted to say how distressed I am to hear about what you saw while you were with your Dad in hospital. This just shows how unacceptable it was to ban hospital visiting, even for patients who are not necessarily at the end of their lives. Besides the fact that it is essential for patients’ psychological well-being to be able to see their families, in some cases relatives play an essential part in the patients’ physical care.
    I don’t quite understand why you seem to disagree with my article, when the main focus of my article was to say that it was a violation of human rights to ban hospital visits. I focused on visits to people who were dying, but I think I should have stated in the article that all hospital patients should have been allowed visits.
    I feel that you should write an article for Lib Dem Voice about your experiences. What you wrote in your comment actually made the point I was trying to make in my article, but more eloquently. You are much more articulate that you realise

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 18th Jan '22 - 8:35am

    James Fowler, thank you for your comment, which is, I think, the only comment so far to express agreement with my article.
    I think people were afraid to express disagreement with any aspect of lockdown rules, because anyone who was opposed to any specific aspect with the rules was often accused of undermining the national effort against the pandemic, and of not caring about the vulnerable – even though it was the most vulnerable who often suffered most as a result of the harsher lockdown rules

  • Mark Inskip 18th Jan '22 - 8:54am

    It is really disappointing again to read the comment:
    “How about the avoidable deaths from cancer as a result of lockdown?”

    As other have said, cancer patients are at particular risk from COVID-19. And many of those in remission, particularly those of us who have had blood cancers remain at risk and continue to be classified as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable. Talk to those of us who fall into these categories and you will find what we see as cruel ,is not the precautions introduced to help protect us, but those who try to use this line to justify anti-lockdown arguments.

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 18th Jan '22 - 8:57am

    Thank you to everyone who has commented so far, even though almost all so far seem to disagree with my article (these are certainly the most negative comments I have ever had for any of my articles on Lib Dem Voice, and I speak as someone whose first article was all about how the should respect the referendum result!)
    I do feel that perhaps some people have rather missed the point of the article. Some of the more outraged replies seem to think I was saying that there should not have been any restrictions at all, despite the fact that I just focused on some of the harshest measures.
    There are some aspects of the article that no-one seems to have commented on. I began by saying how Ed Davey’s statement seemed to illustrate what I feel was wrong with the Lib Dem response to the pandemic. No-one has really commented on this. What do you think?
    The last sentence of the article was supposed to be one of the most important, but this is not something that anyone has commented on so far

  • Gwyn Williams 18th Jan '22 - 9:12am

    @Catherine Jane Crosland on your last line. I believe John Stuart Mill made a stronger point in his 1867 inaugural address at the University of St. Andrews and stated: “Let not any one pacify his conscience by the delusion that he can do no harm if he takes no part, and forms no opinion. Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing. He is not a good man who, without a protest, allows wrong to be committed in his name, and with the means which he helps to supply, because he will not trouble himself to use his mind on the subject.”

  • @James Fowler “A year or so ago not many dared to challenge the dogma that the rules were there for everyone’s benefit. Now we’re beginning to hear that actually, they contained moral ambiguities and flaws in themselves.”
    The rules were there for everyone’s benefit, just some decided they didn’t apply to them, there is no dogma just plain simple evidence-based facts and logic. The flaws and ambiguities in the rules were there because of Boris and his parliamentary colleagues – who’s actions over recent years have shown them to be intellectually challenged.
    Those running businesses or offering “CoViD essential” services had to deal with the regular guidance updates originating from the Government and work out what they actually meant. I suggest that if the people at No.10 were having difficulty understanding and interpreting the rules then it says a lot that they were unable to say to Boris’s face “your rules are useless”.

    I suggest that instead of thinking the rules were unnecessary, Boris having recently recovered from CoViD, would probably regard himself as ‘safe’ and as “it wasn’t that bad” and thus not needing to worry about rules.

  • @Catherine

    You believe my comments on my experience at the hospital with my dad reinforces your argument that the ban on hospital visits where a violation of human rights and cruel…
    And whilst I agree that the measures are cruel, that does not mean that they were not necessary. If you took my comments that way then you need to read what I said again.

    Even before Omicron, Hospitals where in a mess with severe staffing issues which in my experience was affecting patient care.
    My Dad was in hospital (Thoracic Ward) with a ruptured Gall Bladder, Sepsis and Pneumonia and was obviously touch and go for a while. Others in his Bay also had a range of severe health problems including the gentleman I referred too. None of them could afford to be catching covid, regardless of their vaccination status, it would have finished them off.

    The Hospital already had a 1 visitor policy because of the amount of Covid transmission in the community, when these numbers started to rise, the alert level was raised and the hospital was starting to see in-patients catching covid again, so the hospital had to ban all visitors again to protect patient safety, there were exceptions for patients with mental health and those that had carers etc, so while this is extremely emotionally difficult for patients and families, it was in my opinion necessary.

  • @Catherine Jane Crosland
    >“when the main focus of my article was to say that it was a violation of human rights to ban hospital visits. I focused on visits to people who were dying, but I think I should have stated in the article that all hospital patients should have been allowed visits.”

    Can you point to a reputable source for your human rights invocation?
    From the sources I’ve looked at, it would seem you are confusing human rights with compassion and what seems to be morally right.

    Hospital visiting is tricky, having had family and friends in hospital, both as patients and staff there is a very difficult line to draw. Keeping visitors out is a simple rule that can easily be enforced and requires little effort by overstretched NHS staff.

  • Thats why deep down I could understand the nurse telling me off and telling me I was not allowed to help other patients even though it was going against all my human instincts not to do so, because I was granted an exemption to care for my father, I had to stick to providing for his welfare needs and keep away from all other patients.

    Lateral Flow tests are not accurate enough and they do not pick up early infections, visitors have to have a negative flow test every 72 hours in order to get into the hospital….So when you have high levels of community transmission of covid, the hospitals have to way up the risks this poses to patients.

    Yes there are things the hospitals could be doing differently to make things easier for patients and families that I will write about separately maybe in an article…

    But never will I believe these measures where not necessary, the crux of your article suggested to me that you believed because Boris Broke the rules, the rules where never necessary in the first place. As I have said, that’s not been my experience at all. I am angry ( which doesn’t really cut it) At Boris and his cohorts for breaking the rules and not showing solidary with the British Public and suffering citizens during this pandemic, not for creating the rules in the first place

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 18th Jan '22 - 12:59pm

    Matt, I am sorry if you were offended by my suggesting that what you said about your experiences reinforced my argument. I understand that you draw different conclusions from your experience. I suppose I meant that you really illustrated my point, without meaning to. But again, I am sorry if that suggestion offended you.
    You say that you agree that the ban on visitors was cruel, but that you nevertheless feel that it was necessary. But I would say that it is a fairly safe rule in life to assume that if something is clearly cruel, then it is not necessary – that another way can, and must, be found

  • Lorenzo Cherin 18th Jan '22 - 1:24pm

    May I commend our author here, Catherine, you take it well, here, being criticised. Whoever said we Virgos are in many opinions, too readily offended by criticism?!

    Matt, no, you are one of the best , most eloquent , articulate here!

  • @Catherine

    I am in no way offended by anything that you have said, please do not think that..

    I recognise that this is difficult for everyone, whatever side of the fence we sit on

    ” But I would say that it is a fairly safe rule in life to assume that if something is clearly cruel, then it is not necessary – that another way can, and must, be found”

    I don’t think life is always that black or white Catherine.
    I will draw from my own personal experience with Dad as that is what I am most qualified to speak on.

    At 81 years old, with mild dementia, DVT and heart disease, but other than that, still has a fantastic quality of life and has full engagement with family, loves multiple daily walks and gardening and before the pandemic, regular coach holidays. Covid changed all that and put him at extreme risk..
    He had a fall that ruptured his Gall Bladder and he developed sepsis and needed urgent care, but Dad being Dad and the most stoic man I know, came through all that and is back home with us and enjoying all the things he enjoyed previously and still has a great quality of life. Whereas were he to have caught covid however in hospital or otherwise, things would have been very different.
    Now some people will argue that at 81 years of age if someone dies of covid, they were most likely to die soon anyway and

  • so the death is less relevant. Obviously I will argue most strongly with anyone with such views, because as my Dad has shown me for many years, despite many underlying conditions, he has a very good quality of life and indeed these conditions (except dementia) are well managed with medication, however, contracting covid changes all that…

    There are hundreds of thousands of people with underlying conditions taht can live perfectly normal lives with medications and good patient care and could continue to do so for many years, however, covid can change all that and bring on an earlier death, those apposed to vaccinations and lockdowns will make the arguments of people who die with covid.. did they die of or with covid as if it matters…The point is, where it NOT for catching covid, the underlying condition would most likely not have taken their life at that point….

    So with regards to your original point….where my father to have caught covid in hospital and died, as sadly many many patients have, I would have been furious and feel as though I had been robbed, so what are hospitals to do when there is so much coronavirus transmitting in the community, but somehow keep hospitals open for visiting, even though this could put many many sick and vulnerable people at risk. So on that basis I don’t see the Hospitals having much choice. What other ways do you think could have been found?

  • Helen Dudden 18th Jan '22 - 1:58pm

    I think the trauma this government has caused. This will last many, a life time.

  • Although my Dad being 81 and had a very long and good quality life.
    It is no different to someone who is 50 and living with diabetes, who could have continued to do so where it not for catching covid….
    Or the expectant mother who could have delivered a perfectly normal full term pregnancy, however, catching covid has resulted in a miscarriage or premature birth,
    Or the Cancer patient or transplant patient who with treatment could have beaten the disease and had many many years ahead of them, but due to catching covid, was denied that opportunity…..
    This has affected millions of people in the UK alone and resulted in 10’s of thousands of early deaths let alone worldwide

    These are the difficulties that many many vulnerable people face day to day through having high amounts of covid transmitting in their communities and the logistics hospitals face in order to keep them safe whilst receiving treatment…It is not as Black and White as some people wish to see

  • Tell that to all the lives that were saved because of the restrictions. They may have come too late on most occasions but they did come. Really Catherine.

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 18th Jan '22 - 5:32pm

    Matt, I absolutely agree that your Dad’s life is of just as much value as anyone else’s. No-one has any right to suggest that anyone’s life is somehow of less value, or their death less of a tragedy, because of age, disability, poor health, or anything else. And after all, an eighty-one year old may possibly live another twenty years or more.
    I fully understand that you want to avoid any unnecessary risk to your Dad. You consider that allowing hospital visiting would be a unnecessary risk.
    It is true that any visitor to a hospital does bring some additional risk. But I think we need to look at it a different way.
    Quite a large number of staff will work on a ward during the course of a day. Doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, cleaners etc. Each of these people brings to the ward some additional risk of infection. But everyone accepts that they need to be there, despite the risk of infection, because each, in their different way, has a vital role in the care of the patients. If each patient had one visitor, then each visitor would also bring a small risk of infection. But in view of the difference that the visitor would make to the patient’s well-being, should we not accept that the small risk of infection that they bring is a “necessary” rather than an “unnecessary” risk, just like the risk posed by the hospital staff?

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 18th Jan '22 - 5:33pm

    Helen, thank you for your comment. I am afraid you are right

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 18th Jan '22 - 5:35pm

    Theakes, how many lives do you really think were saved by refusing to allow people to visit a dying relative?

  • @Catharine

    (1) Each patient has been allowed 1 designated visitor for their entire stay in hospital.
    (2) There have been different rules for Children, who have been allowed both parents with no restrictions on times.
    (3) People with mental health have always been allowed visitors
    (4) And anyone who has a carer, has been allowed to continue to have that Carer ( On a Carers Pass) on top of their designated visitor
    People who have been at end of stage life, have been allowed 3 members of their family to visit.

    The rules on visits changed according to a Hospital alerts status according to community and hospital transmission rates and it is only Group (1) that gets affected when a Hospital goes into lockdown, all other groups got to carry on as normal.

    As far as I am aware these rules do not apply to Covid Wards and ICU units where there is no visitors for obvious reasons.
    “should we not accept that the small risk of infection that they bring is a “necessary” The Hospitals have been doing that with the designated visitor scheme…

    Do you think Hospitals should just operate as normal and allow patients to have as many visitors as they like within normal visiting times? Or do you think they should try and mitigate the risks to other patients?

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