Politics

‘I was in labour for 10 hours alone’: how people spent the day of the Downing Street leaving drinks | Coronavirus

While pictures of the prime minister at a gathering on 13 November 2020 have raised questions on the credibility of the Partygate inquiry, they’ve additionally brought about some to mirror on what they had been doing that day.

As England was beneath a 28-day “circuit-breaker”, its second lockdown, Boris Johnson gave the impression to be elevating a glass at a colleague’s No 10 leaving drinks.

Elsewhere, others had been at family’ socially distanced funerals, delivering infants alone and taking care of Covid sufferers.

Here some of these whose lives had been deeply affected by restrictions recall the date.

‘I was allowed a few hours off work to go to the funeral’

Dr Gareth Jones
Dr Gareth Jones: ‘That photo made me unbelievably cross.’ Photograph: Gareth Jones/Guardian Community

When I seemed again by way of pictures I realised that was the day we buried my Uncle Bob. There’s an image of my spouse and my son Zachary, who was born simply earlier than the first lockdown, stood exterior the crematorium.

Gareth’s wife, Dr Helen Kalaher, and son Zachary outside Chester crematorium on 13 November 2020
Jones’s spouse, Dr Helen Kalaher, and son Zachary exterior Chester crematorium on 13 November 2020. Photograph: Gareth Jones/Guardian Community

I’d solely been allowed just a few hours off work in the morning as a result of I was on name in the Covid ward.

My uncle was an enormous, larger-than-life character whose funeral would have been packed out in regular circumstances. But there have been round 20 of us and my auntie was nonetheless too unwell with Covid to attend.

When they had been each in the high-dependency unit in Chester with the virus, workers had wheeled their beds into the identical room so they might spend their previous couple of hours collectively. I stood at the again as a result of of my publicity to Covid.

It was heartbreaking not with the ability to hug Archie, my godson and Bob’s grandson, who was round 16 at the time, at the funeral. The entire factor felt horrible and unsuitable after which I went off again to the wards.

I perceive heaps of the difficulties the authorities was dealing with, however that photograph made me unbelievably cross this morning as a result of of the sacrifices we had been making. It’s made my blood boil.
Gareth Jones, 40, respiratory marketing consultant, Liverpool

‘It’s a second you possibly can by no means get again’

(*10*)Xenia Davis and her newborn son, Rowan, in November 2020
Xenia Davis and her new child son, Rowan, in November 2020. Photograph: Xenia Davis/Supplied

I was in labour with my first child having finished all of my scans alone. I went into hospital at about 6pm and my companion wasn’t allowed in till I was in established labour at about 4am the subsequent morning. I had about 10 hours alone – it’s simply so upsetting, even now.

The midwives had been pretty and actually supportive. I can’t fault the care I acquired, but it surely was my companion I wished with me. He wished to be there to help me and I believe he discovered that basically onerous too.

Although he was allowed to go to the subsequent day, when my son was born, he nonetheless needed to depart at 6pm and are available again the subsequent morning. My son additionally didn’t meet his grandparents till he was six months previous.

You can go to a different occasion subsequent week, there’s nothing notably important about any of them. But having a primary child is a very important second which you can by no means get again.

How on earth are you able to lead this nation and simply have the vanity to assume you’d get away with this sort of stuff?
Xenia Davis, 41, choir chief, London

‘Seeing the photos makes me cry’

I was at house with my kids whereas my companion was in hospital with lung most cancers, having been identified in May 2020. He’d had a complication together with his remedy and had been in for every week after I’d left him at A&E as a result of we couldn’t go in.

Between working, and whereas the youngsters (infants at the time) had been on their screens, I was attempting to talk to somebody in the hospital about what was happening with him.

According to my WhatsApp messages, that was additionally the day he ended up coming house. The youngsters knew their dad was actually ailing however luckily had been younger sufficient to not assume he was going to die, which was what was in my head.

It makes me just about cry once I see that photograph [of Johnson]. I can’t imagine that was occurring after we had been attempting our greatest to ensure nobody received Covid.

My companion, who is healthier now, is much less shocked. But I believe going by way of his remedy alone actually added to his trauma.

The photographs take me again to that point in a approach that’s fairly painful, but it surely makes me indignant that the technique is to attempt to make us neglect.
Hannah (not her actual title), 43, NHS psychologist in north-west England

‘I became more and more isolated’

Zoe from Cornwall.
Zoe from Cornwall: ‘I feel so aggrieved and let down.’ Photograph: Zoe/Guardian Community

On 13 November 2020, I was battling a psychological well being disaster introduced on by intense worry of Covid-19, frustration at the poor dealing with by the authorities, unhappiness at the demise toll and isolation pressured on me and colleagues as a result of of lockdowns. There was nothing in my diary that day, that week or the weeks earlier than and after.

My employer had despatched everyone house, which was the proper factor to do. But over the following months, the lack of contact with my crew members meant that I grew to become increasingly more remoted and ineffective in my job. I lost a way of belonging to one thing I’d beforehand actually loved.

My employer is ordinarily very supportive. But in some instances, managers went to items and simply didn’t know how to handle a crew in that scenario. I had the counselling offered by my employer, which was useful, however finally I made a decision to go away my job.

A quantity of people left my employer at the time for related causes. I really feel so aggrieved and let down by what is going on with our authorities and our prime minister. It makes me very indignant and really unhappy once I take into consideration what we’ve all been by way of, and how all of us caught to the guidelines.
Zoe, 50, works in schooling, Cornwall

‘If I’d recognized what I do now, I wouldn’t have caught to the guidelines’

Thirteenth November is the day that I acquired a telephone name from my mum’s quantity. It was not my mum on the telephone, nonetheless, however a paramedic who was ringing to say that my mum had died. She died alone in her assisted dwelling flat after months of us not with the ability to go to in particular person as a result of of the restrictions.

At 89, she had been feeling desperately lonely however in any other case in good well being. She had instructed me on the telephone earlier that week that she’d “take her chances” with Covid if I may go to. But I instructed her no, I’ve received to stay to the guidelines.

If I’d recognized then what I do know now, I wouldn’t have thought like that. I’ve little question in my thoughts that it was the affect of lockdown that killed her.

If I may return I’d definitely break the guidelines and ensure I’d been there for her. Sandra Gould, 61, trainer, Leeds

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