An Open letter to Boris Johnson... Re Coronavirus, Dominic Cummings and me

By (S)llew la Wulf | Llewella_la_femme | 25 May 2020



Dear Boris Johnson,

I felt I needed to let you know that I have had the dreaded coronavirus, or at least I think I have had it (the test was taken too late to be accurate, so who knows) and although it wasn't really bad - no breathing difficulties etc, I did feel bloody awful, for 4 or 5 days and then spent a week or so afterwards with massively low energy, hardly got out of bed. I'm recovered now, I'm sure you will be thrilled to know, but to add insult to injury, I then, in my tired (post illness) weakness, fell down the stairs and redislocated my knee. Very painful. Yea, basically, it's been a shit few weeks.

I've been very lucky to have had people to help me out with shopping etc but the reality is, I have had to isolate/quarantine, as a single parent, with both of my children. Neither of them became unwell or showed any symptoms so to a certain degree, they were left to run wild and feral, but at no point did I think that it would be acceptable for my children to be looked after by someone else, for example, go and stay with their dads, who live close by, whom they see every week, never mind go to another city to get help from family members. I was following guidelines and advice, not only from the government, those laid out by you guys -PLEASE spare me the crap about saying it was down to people's discretion, that is not how it's been put forward in these last few months. I also got this advice from the coronavirus hotline people I spoke to about getting my home test kit, they too pretty clearly stated that all members of a household where one person is presenting symptoms are to isolate, quarantine, full stop.

Lord knows I desperately wanted some help with the kids, I was not a good or fit parent during those weeks because either I was unwell or I was too knackered to cook, clean, engage with them properly - but rules are rules...I personally hate following rules but it seemed like these would be foolish and inconsiderate rules to break. I wasn't arrogant or selfish enough to believe they didn't apply to me, even though it would have definitely suited me, the girls and their dads too (who didn't get to see their daughters for 2 weeks).

Dominic Cummings acted very instinctually according to you Boris.Yes, I'm inclined to agree with you on that; I didn't want to pass anything on to my daughters, denied them hugs even (which was awful, my youngest is 8 and is a very sensitive and cuddly child) but we have all, as a nation, been encouraged to do the opposite of act on our instincts. We have been told that those instincts don't apply in this time of war against an invisible enemy. We have been encouraged to follow the rules as a way to protect eachother, slow down the spread and relieve pressure on the NHS. We have been encouraged to act responsibly and not selfishly, because it suits us.

This whole debate today within government re the media shitstorm around Dominic Cummings' decision to take his child 260 miles out of London, to stay with the child's grandparents because, he needed childcare due to him and his partner potentially becoming too unwell - and you Boris defending him - is just another example basically of how normal rules do not apply if you are a member of that glorious elite... If I did that, I'd have been hauled across the coals and used as an example of a selfish, lazy, working class single mother (with 2 different baby fathers), who, for one couldn't keep her legs shut - I'm referring to one of your previous slights against single mothers, especially those with different fathers to their children - and then, seemingly wasn't capable of following simple rules. Of acting responsibility. I would be painted as public enemy number one, because I'd be the perfect embodiment, one of your statistics; brown, working class, single mother, working but claiming tax credits. Oh...The Daily Mail or even The Telegraph would have loved that story, I can almost imagine the comedic and utterly disrespectful way that you Boris would have unpicked someone like me if it was my story of instinctual parenting you were commenting upon. Would you perhaps be able to get in a quick pun about me spreading my legs and also spreading the virus, disregarding the fact that you have impregnated more women than I have bore children? Disregarding how difficult my situation might have been. But it's so very different when it's one of your own, isn't it...someone who seemingly has a very bizarre hold over you. Your discomfort showed when you were grilled about this on your little coronavirus pulpit on Sunday evening, but we all know it will amount to nothing. Cummings will get to keep his job and you will hold your position. I hate to say it, but I will anyway, but this is yet another stunning example of the arrogance of mediocre, white, middle classed men. I refer here to yourself, Cummings and all of you in that little boys club playing Little Lord Fontleroy and King of the world. Normal rules do not apply to you guys because of what you represent, to yourselves and eachother. Keeping the power close.

Boris, please answer me this, should I have handed my kids over to their dads when I was ill? I was told not to, by the coronavirus hotline people. Was even told I couldn't get a lift from one of them to be tested, hence having to wait for a home test kit, as I don't drive - which turned up late and was then, because of it's lateness getting picked up, inaccurate. Were my childcare issues as valid as Cummings' were? No, I'd imagine they were not. But if so, if you feel I should have been able to hand them over, because I was finding it hard to cope, please alter or clarify your guidance. I think we are all a little confused and just really fucked off with this ad hoc, one rule for one, one for another bullshit. It is draining and surely even you can see how dangerous this little stunt has been. Both in terms of your career and keeping people motivated to remain vigilant. Why on earth should anyone listen to anything you say? You never had my faith or vote and never will, so I'd imagine you don't care what I think but I sense your grasp is slipping...we can but hope I suppose.

Signed, that pesky black fly in your watery soup.

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(S)llew la Wulf
(S)llew la Wulf

Yet another artist screaming (colourfully) into the void. I like to dance. I write. I do self portraiture and i draw... I cover topics ranging from racial bias to female sexuality to capitalism to rape culture and of course, love ❤️


Some of my more political writing and art...

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