Norfolk parents divided over Dominic Cummings’ controversial lockdown travel
PUBLISHED: 13:13 25 May 2020 | UPDATED: 20:28 25 May 2020
Norfolk parents are divided on the issue of Dominic Cummings’ cross-country lockdown travel for childcare as reactions range from empathy to outright disgust.
Robert Fryer, a Dereham resident, has two small children - one with special needs.
He is also a full-time carer to his disabled partner and works part-time as a delivery driver in the evenings.
He said: “To say I’m disgusted at the recent revelations would be an understatement.
“With the schedule I have I’m usually dependent on ad-hoc childcare from my parents. But to fully comply with the guidelines, we‘ve had no physical contact with them since lockdown began.
He added: “If I’d known that the very people responsible for drafting the rules were paying no mind to it then neither would I.
“It would have been incredibly convenient for me to pack up and move to mum’s, or rely on her for childcare, but we refrained from this to minimise risk to others.
“This news spits in the face of parents of special needs kids who have been struggling so very much during this time.”
Likewise, Hana Kromerova, who lives with her 9-year-old daughter in Norwich, said Mr Cummings had broken “clear advice” issued by the government.
She said: “The government was clear that you should stay at home and isolate for seven days if you have symptoms and 14 if someone else in the household has them.
“There was no clear advice given in case both parents get ill, or even one parent if they are single.
“I too suffered with symptoms and could not travel to my family because I listened to what I was instructed to do.
“My view of the situation is this: ‘If he was well enough to travel 260 miles away, surely he was well enough to take care of his child’.”
Faye Kett, a mum from Norwich whose daughter has a rare genetic disease, said that she had made many sacrifices as a parent in lockdown - and that while she made the decision to stay indoors with her daughter since March 16, others had been acting “selfishly”.
“I have given up my jobs, my degree and the care I get to help her”, she said.
But there were also parents in support of Mr Cummings’ decision to travel to the North East for childcare.
Elizabeth Betts from Norwich said: “I have an autistic child. If there was the very real possibility that I was going to be seriously ill then I would have driven anywhere to ensure the correct childcare was in place.”
Many agreed, with social media users saying they would “drive to the ends of the earth” to protect their child and that “family comes first every time”.
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