Throughout the first lockdown in May 2020, Hugh Palmer visited his mother every day in her nursing home, but they could only communicate through glass.
There was no physical contact; no hugs, no hand in hand, no human contact.
This was to be the start of his gradual decline in health and wellness that ultimately led to his death in August 2020.
Mr. Palmer said I: “It was so hard to go see my mother through the glowing window, all these months of confinement were so cruel but I understood that it was necessary.
“I was a nurse, I understand protecting people’s health, we had to put others first.”
For his 91-year-old mother, Paddy Palmer, disconnecting from her son was agony. In a candid account of her experience written shortly before her death, she said: “So I am isolated.
“We are all isolated if we are to help the NHS, but the greatest cruelty for me is being able to touch the cold glass, but not touch my son on the other side.
“I can’t wait to see him this morning and thank goodness it’s possible, but it’s agony not being able to hold his hand.”
While mother and son obeyed coronavirus restrictions in May 2020 at a huge cost to keep everyone safe, it has now emerged that some at 10 Downing Street – including the Prime Minister – did not. do.
A leaked email to ITV News revealed that on May 20, more than 100 staff were invited to “socially drink in Garden No.10” by Boris Johnson’s senior private secretary, Martin Reynolds, for enjoy the “good weather” after an “incredibly busy period”. Staff were encouraged to ‘bring your own alcohol’.
More than 40 people are said to have attended, including the Prime Minister and his wife, eating and drinking together.
For Mr. Palmer, family therapist, what angers him the most is “the absolute hypocrisy of what was going on in these circles compared to what others were doing and what we have lost. in terms of connecting with the people we love ”.
Her mother’s nursing home in Pocklington in the East Riding of Yorkshire managed to avoid any case of Covid-19 as she adhered to strict measures.
But Mr Palmer said during the lockdown he saw his mother decline of a 91-year-old man with “a lot of life in her”, due to a lack of connection with his family.
“The light came out of his eyes during the lockdown,” he said. “She just gave up, it was so sad.”
Ms Palmer could not have had any physical connection to her son, daughter, grandchildren or great-grandchildren in the months leading up to her death.
“She was never able to hold her twin great-granddaughters because they were born in June 2020,” Mr. Palmer said.
Her mother passed away on August 18, 2020. Mr. Palmer was allowed to be with her at the end.
Coronavirus restrictions at the time meant that a maximum of 30 people could attend his funeral – less than what would have been at the Downing Street Garden rally.
After seeing the latest revelations, Palmer said, “I would like to see a change in government, a government that cares about its citizens.
“Boris Johnson gives off that goofy foolish air but is actually corrupt, with a bunch of people behind him who have used Brexit and Covid for their own personal gain.”
He added: “I think more than his resignation, they should all resign.”
“It’s agony not to hold his hand”
This powerful tale was written by Paddy Palmer before his death, chronicling his experience of isolation during the lockdown.
Three weeks ago I gave my son a big hug before he left me here at my retirement home. I thought I would see him the next day, but I didn’t. Containment has arrived. Suddenly I wondered if I would touch her pretty face again or give her a hug. I still wonder. In fact, at 91 I’m not very lucky if the virus gets here, and it’s so vicious it could unfortunately attack Hugh as well.
For the past three weeks, I have watched the sparrows enjoy the freedom to come and go to the hedge where they build their house.
I saw the cherry blossoms (bloom when I last hugged Hugh in my arms) move away from the tree and blow where the wind would take him, and I watched the daffodils go and come as nature intended.
I saw how all of nature is interdependent and lives according to the seasons. Freedom. But now, as Saint Paul says, “I see through a dark glass”, because I am so blessed that Hugh can come to my window, that I can see his smile, know that he is fine. But we can’t touch, we can’t kiss. We can only greet each other and send kisses to each other.
Oh! The cruelty of this virus! That in fact, we may never touch each other again! Looks like he’s living in another world, walking from his house all the way here and I feel like an animal he can look at but not touch.
This virus has kept people away from loved ones in life and death, and the people in this house are wondering “How long?” “.
The caregivers are wonderful, keep the spirits up even though each of them wondering, each has a house, kids, husband, elderly parents, but they tried to keep us happy.
I am therefore isolated. We are all isolated if we are to help the NHS, but the greatest cruelty for me is being able to touch the cold glass, but not my son on the other side. I can’t wait to see him this morning and thank God it’s possible, but it’s the agony of not being able to hold his hand.
Written by Paddy Palmer for Murmurations: Journal of Transformative Systemic Practice