My thoughts on the Dominic Cummings situation

Dominic Cummings "I don't regret what I did"

On March 23, 2020, British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson enacted a “must stay at home” lockdown order. Four days later, Johnson’s chief aide Dominic Cummings made the decision to drive almost 270 miles to his parents’ farm in County Durham with his wife who had symptoms of COVID-19 and their four-year-old son, which would seem to contravene the Prime Minister’s “must stay at home” lockdown order.

Many Britons are pissed off by Johnson’s aides’ actions, rightfully so, in my opinion. And Boris Johnson’s defense of his aid has angered the people of the UK even more. I don’t buy Cummings’ explanation that he feared that should he also fall ill with COVID-19, he would not be able to find care for his son. I’m 100% sure that Cummings and his wife could have found appropriate childcare in London if necessary.

Not just that, three people in a car, a confined space with recycled air, for almost five hours, one with symptoms of COVID-19, traveling to the home of his parents, who are more likely to be at risk of dying from COVID-19, that doesn’t seem “reasonable” to me. The advice is to self-isolate at your home, your primary residence, not your parents’ home, 267 miles away. Potentially infecting others on the journey, anyone who has traveled with a four-year-old knows traveling for 5 hours without stopping is a big ask.

On top of the journey to his parents’ farm, Cummings then made a 30-minute drive to get his eyes tested, to make sure he is good to drive. Can you see the irony? he drove 30 minutes, despite being unsure if he is safe to drive. And even more crazy is that he had his wife and child in the car on his journey to get his eyes tested, not only potentially risking himself, and other road users, but also his wife and child.

The feeling I get is that there is a distinct double standard going on here. If it were you or I that had made this journey, we’d be facing significant fines. We expect our leaders to lead by example, but in this government, we cannot expect them to make smart decisions, after-all, Johnson contracted COVID-19 by shaking hands with people infected with the Coronavirus in a hospital tour in early March.

Cummings’ actions and Johnson’s defense of his top aide is a kick in the teeth to the people that have stayed home, isolating themselves from their families, while their loved ones passed away, just miles away, and not being able to attend the funerals of their loved ones due to social distancing. Others have been stopped by the police and turned back home while making shorter car journeys for similar reasons. You can read just a few of the stories of people angered by Cummings do as I say, not as I do actions.

After this episode, the PM cannot seriously expect people to abide by stay at home or stay alert rules.

Should Cummings be fired? I would say yes, as he was one of the people involved in drafting the “stay at home” rules, which he flouted and unashamedly defended breaking those same rules. If our leaders cannot lead by example, they need to go, if we cannot trust our leaders, that is a real problem. But politicians these days don’t care for the will of the people, so I expect no consequences for Cummings.

May, 28 2020, 08:23: As expected, despite a suspected minor breach of lockdown rules, according to Durham police, no retroactive action will be taken; and Boris Johnson has urged the people of the UK to “move-on”. I have a feeling that the public discontent won’t go away as readily as the PM hopes.

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