Mrs Suzanne Linsey – Written Evidence (LBC0067)
I am a 49 year old mother of two boys, one who is 19 and one who is 8 who has autism and ADHD. I would like to tell you in a bullet point form what COVID19 has done to me - and my views.
- Mid March I was made redundant, alongside other colleagues, from my job in an independent school in central London. It appears they could not be bothered to furlough us, so simply made us all redundant. This is the first time in my career since I was 18 (31 years) that I have been unemployed. Despite desperately searching for a job since that time, I have been unsuccessful due to the huge amount of people going for each job. This has been made worse by employers, sensing the desperation of candidates, slashing wages.
- My 8 year old son, who has autism and ADHD, relies on going to his school to get a routine and specialised input. As my husband is a key worker, and my son’s special needs, we were promised he could remain at school in a smaller group. Unfortunately the week before he was due to start he caught a small cold. He was not coughing, had no temperature, just a runny nose. The school proclaimed the cold was COVID19 and that he could not come in next week as required. I argued it was clearly a cold, but said we would bring in him the following week. They said no as they wanted my husband and I to self isolate for 14 days. We didn’t because it was a cold and he got over it after two days. But when we went back after the 3 weeks requested we were told he had no place as ‘government guidance’ did not compel schools to take in these children. At home his learning fell behind; he became very disturbed and disruptive, and had to be put on powerful sleeping medication (for the first time in his life) as he would not sleep. Eventually, after numerous appeals the school took him back approx one month before the summer holidays, he is now at home and as unwell as ever.
- Despite the illness being mild in a majority of people, and usually only fatal or severe in those with serious illnesses or the old, the entire country was told to ‘stay at home’ at the start of lockdown. Fine for those who were wealthy, on benefits or who were furloughed, not good for the unemployed with no income, who, without a job, would have no home to stay in. It failed to address this silent mass that had been cut adrift. Vulnerable people should have been asked to stay at home, but healthy young people should have been told to social distance, wash hands, and wear masks. Schools should never have been shut as the young are least affected of all. All this did was cause a pointless panic.
- I trained as a medic; I had a day and a half course on the correct mask to wear in wards, theatres and for what reason. The mantra ‘wear a mask’ makes it seem fine to wear anything at all over your face, cloth masks which can only be washed at 30c, cheap, gaping paper masks (no use at all). People are seen walking around lifting them up and down (rendering them useless), or, as I have often seen, wear them over their mouth only. I think this message was the government trying to look like it was doing something, otherwise it should have communicated WHAT masks people should wear (medical grade), where they can be obtained from, and dos and don’ts (don’t keep taking them on and off for example). But they didn’t.
- The government claims it uses science to inform its decisions. Why then does COVID seem to infect people in food stores, but not in pubs or restaurants? Clearly the government has been lobbied by the powerful food and beverage trade to keep them open. But this is not science at all. Wear masks and social distance EVERYWHERE there are crowds close to you, or not at all! Why were masks supposedly compulsory at the end of July, when cases were going down, not at the start?
- Vital and lifesaving treatment was stopped because of COVID. A vital cancer test I should have had was postponed from February until June, but I only got the test in June due to my arguing with the NHS. A 35 year old female friend, with three children, had her lifesaving chemo stopped for two months due to the hospital having to be ‘on standby’ for COVID. She had one more month that she could wait or the cancer would return, and she would have died. A small chance of dying of COVID but a 100% chance of this young mum dying due to being thrown to one side.
- Death certificates are being falsified stating people died of COVID who did not. I know because not one but TWO of my relatives suffered this. My 80 year old Uncle who had COVID a long while back, recovered, and then went to hospital a long while later with heart problems. He then sadly died of a heart attack which was confirmed with the family. The death certificate said his death was due to COVID. My 53 year old friend who had health problems, again had COVID a while back, recovered quickly and was her usual self for weeks, until a long standing kidney complaint sent her to hospital where she died of renal failure. Her death certificate stated, again, she died of COVID. Why is this happening? Is the government swelling figures to cause fear and panic?
My family and I have suffered immeasurably due to, not the virus itself, which I believe I had in February (it lasted a week and I still travelled to work in London every day with it) but due to the huge, long lasting and appalling damage that this massive over reaction and widespread panic has caused to society and the economy. People have become fearful, turned against each other, scared of their own shadow – perhaps this is what was intended by the government all along?
I am now severely depressed, I have no income, my son has been terribly let down by the education system and it seems that the situation will not be better for a long while. The country now needs a massive injection of money to restart the economy, the government needs to stop chopping and changing its ‘guidance’ on a whim and stop terrifying the people. If we do not get a grip on this now there will be far far more deaths due to poverty, suicide and undiagnosed illnesses than ever there would have been with COVID.