Sat, 30 May 2020
AN intensive care nurse from West Berkshire who has lost three of her colleagues to the coronavirus has hit out at the “selfish” people who are choosing to ignore social distancing rules.
Rachel Birch, from Speen, has spent the last 10 weeks treating patients with Covid-19 and as a result hasn’t seen any of her family for months.
She said seeing groups of people flouting the rules has left her so angry she’s been reduced to tears and warned them that their actions have consequences.
Speaking to the Newbury Weekly News, she added: “Since the lockdown was eased, I’ve seen more and more people ignoring the social distancing rules around Newbury.
“Do those people understand the consequences of their actions?
“As a senior intensive care nurse in the NHS, I have spent the last 10 weeks looking after patients with Covid-19.
“This has involved considerable risk to myself, my colleagues and our families.
“Everyone was touched by the weekly Clap for Carers and appreciates the support from the country.
“But what is more important than clapping for the NHS is to follow the lockdown rules.
“I understand how difficult lockdown has been for everyone.
“I haven’t seen my family or friends for months and don’t know when it will be safe to see them again, due to my increased risk of contracting Covid.
“In the beginning, people seemed to follow the social distancing rules.
“However, since the rules were modified, allowing you to meet a single person outside, that seems to have stopped.
“Increasing numbers of people are ignoring the rules and meeting in groups outdoors.
“Walking through Speen Moors, the Kennet and Avon Canal and Northcroft Park, I have been brought to tears with anger at the groups of people socialising outdoors.
“I cannot believe that they all happen to live in the same house.
“This is not just rebellious teenagers – I have seen groups of all generations who ought to know better.
“People seem to think they are the exception to the rule.
“Meeting in groups to have a party outdoors is not even close to the guidelines.
“If you are one of these people, please understand the consequences of your actions.
“It is very simple – the more people that ignore the social distancing guidelines, the more people will die.
“More patients means more risk for NHS staff.
“I have already lost three colleagues due to Covid.
“Just because you see others ignoring the rules, this is not an excuse for your own selfish actions.
“I’m sure those same people would have been out on Thursday nights clapping for the NHS.
“Please don’t be a hypocrite – if you really care about the NHS keep following the lockdown rules.”