While Boris Johnson was at a garden party, I was in ICU treating Covid patients

Yet another revelation has come over the weekend of Boris Johnson apparently breaking his own Covid-19 rules – this time in the form of a May 2020 social gathering in the grounds of Downing Street. 

This is one of many blows to the British public from a Prime Minister that told us to stay at home and not mingle with others, while very blatantly ignoring these rules himself. 

I’m an Intensive Care Nurse and have worked in ICU throughout the whole pandemic. Seeing this latest photograph of him having a garden party in No.10 made me think back to where I was at in May last year.

I found a picture I took at the time – I’d just witnessed one of my first traumatising Covid-19 deaths. I didn’t take it with the intention of posting anywhere, but more of something in the moment to look back in the future and remember how I felt.

Working in healthcare you go through a lot of distressing experiences, it’s just part of the job. Some things do stay with you forever though and this death is one of them. It was 3am on a night shift and one of our patients was about to die with no more we could do after exhausting all treatment options, other than to make them comfortable and pain-free. 

I remember holding the iPad so their family could watch on FaceTime (Covid-19 visiting rules at the time meant they could not come in person) as their loved one took their final few breaths. I heard their screams and tears. It’ll stay with me forever. Then I felt completely lost for words and just didn’t know what to say to them other than ‘I’m so sorry’.

After the death, I went out of the ward and took off my sweaty PPE for a breather and to cry and reflect about what I’d just seen. I was 21 at the time, and although I had witnessed many deaths in my time working for the NHS, this one hit me hard. 

So imagine the anger that I – and thousands of my colleagues across the country – feel now seeing Boris Johnson thinking it was acceptable to have a cheese and wine party while we were going through this.

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I’d have loved nothing more than to be drinking wine in the garden with my family back then. At this point, I’d not seen them for months and months.

Thousands of families had to watch their mother, husband or siblings die with their hands being held by strangers via FaceTime because of rules the PM and the NHS set out. Rules he obviously feels he was above. 

The same goes for the Christmas parties that are claimed to have been held in Downing Street last year. At what point do we say enough is enough? Boris Johnson has lost all credibility.

It breaks my heart to see so many people online respond to these rule-breaking allegations with ‘if there’s another lockdown, I won’t follow it’. People are no longer going to take life-saving restrictions seriously, especially when the man creating them has been shown not following them countless times. 

This is not the right attitude and I urge anyone reading this to please do take any further measures seriously. Nobody wants to live in a lockdown, but for the sake of the NHS and preventing deaths, it is so important we all follow them when in place. 

I know it’s cliché to say, but the National Health Service truly is at breaking point now.

Every month seems to get worse and worse. A&E wait times are at the worst they’ve ever been, more and more nurses are leaving the NHS and an already short-staffed service is even worse off.

It’s hard for people to recognise this unless they either work in the NHS or until they need it. We all need to play our part in protecting our health service, and that includes our PM. 

We need a strong person in charge to lead by example and help guide this country through the pandemic and bring it to an end as soon as possible.

Boris Johnson is a man, proving time and time again, that he simply does not care about us. He needs to go.

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