"Is my life not worth anything?" Shielding caller damns Cummings for flouting lockdown

23 May 2020, 09:09

By Seán Hickey

This shielding woman was distraught at people defending the Prime Minister's chief adviser's decision to flout lockdown rules.

"If he's supposed to be a strategist then he should have used better strategy than this" Shiela told Matt Stadlen. The MS sufferer has been shielding for the past 14 weeks and told Matt that by Dominic Cummings ignoring lockdown rules, he is setting a precedent for others to ignore rules and put people like her at risk.

The caller argued that we are only hearing part of the story of how the Dominic Cummings broke the rules, and pointed out that "we don't know where he went on the way up to Durham", suggesting that he could well have stopped off in a restaurant along the way and spread the virus as he went.

Sheila told Matt that she was furious with the news and begged for some consideration for her plight when people take the opportunity to break the rules. "I haven't stepped outside my four walls and you get someone who's supposed to be in a high post in government."

"Does he not think my life or the lives of other people who are shielding are worth anything" she asked. For how Mr Cummings has acted, Sheila insisted to Matt that there is no way that he should carry on as Boris Johnson's chief advisor.

The PM's chief advisor broke lockdown rules by travelling 250 miles to his Durham home
The PM's chief advisor broke lockdown rules by travelling 250 miles to his Durham home. Picture: PA

Matt sympathised with the callers situation, and after Shiela pointed out that a government scientific advisor was fired for less, Matt insisted that "it can't be one rule for a top scientist and another for an advisor to the Prime Minister."

Shiela shared how the lockdown has seriously impacted not only her mental health, but her relationship. "My partner happens to be living 16 miles from me and we've nearly split up over this" she said. She was evidently upset that while she listens to the rules which are putting her relationship on the rocks, others can do whatever they please with no consequence.

"He's harming a lot of people and there's a lot of men and women listening that are hurt by this" an emotional Shiela insisted. Her anger was clear throughout the call but she became particularly distressed now.

Sheila told Matt "they just don't seem to care" when not only referencing the Prime Minister's advisor, but other people who are deeming it safe to ignore lockdown rules. She warned that these people may not be putting themselves at risk, but they are affecting her life.

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