It pains me to say this but I have some sympathy for Dominic Cummings right now. It has emerged today that he travelled from London to Durham sometime in March when his wife was showing symptoms of coronavirus so that his 4-year-old child could be near extended family for support. People are now calling for his resignation. While there may be many reasons for Dominic Cummings to lose his job, this isn’t one of them.
As a parent to young children and with no extended family around I’m not sure what we’d do if Ben and I became severely ill. There’s really no one we could ask to care for our children. We’d literally have to take them to the hospital with us. If we had a supportive family 200 miles away and a home to isolate ourselves in I’d definitely go there for the sake of the children. This is vastly different from meeting up with your lover or visiting a holiday home by the beach. In this instance, the needs of the child should come first.
Once when Daniel was a tiny baby and Ben was overseas on a work trip I became dreadfully ill with norovirus. I had only recently moved to Christchurch and had no family there and no close friends I could ask for help from. I’m also someone who is reluctant to ask for help from others, preferring to be self-dependent. I spent 24-48 hours alternating between puking into the toilet and crapping out my insides, sometimes both at the same time, while somehow managing to breastfeed a newborn baby. It was truly ghastly and an experience I’ll never forget.
Being ill is awful. But being ill and having to care for someone else at the same time is on a completely different scale altogether. Thank goodness the children are older and fairly independent now. Thank goodness also to Ben who always looks after me whenever I’m feeling under the weather. I hope I do the same for him and hopefully we’ll never get sick at the same time.