Living with coronavirus and doing our civic duty

Dominic Cummings leaves his north London home as the row over his Durham trip. PA images/Kirsty O'Co

Dominic Cummings leaves his north London home as the row over his Durham trip. PA images/Kirsty O'Connor - Credit: PA

I’ll do my “civic duty” when Dominic Cummings does his and resigns as Boris Johnson’s chief adviser for breaking the lockdown or when the hypocritical Tories do their “civic duty” and sack him.

I do not agree with Sasha Simic’s letter, that if there is a new wave of Covid-19 deaths we should blame the government, writes Jim McCarthy, Stoke Newington, full address supplied.

I am fed up with both the press and TV patronising us, telling ordinary people how to live our lives. Most of us are perfectly capable of understanding the government guidelines and how to follow them.

Mr Cummings’ behaviour has not caused me to stop following the guidelines. These are not easy to respect all the time, but I have stuck with them. I will admit that I am desperately missing the pub.

It would be very unwise for some people, who do not like this government, to decide to change their lifestyle, which could risk spreading the virus, as it can be fatal, even to some young people.

I suspect this virus is going to be around for a long time, and we may have to learn through difficult strategies to live with it. For the good of society, our friends and neighbours we should be prepared to follow the rules as best we can, as this appears to be the only way of stopping the spread of the virus.

I’m writing to mention how my uneasiness with the state of national issues, and their reporting, has caused me to set up a website, to challenge and/or parody, a lot of the things we’re hearing about, on the TV, or elsewhere, writes David Keen, Choir With No Name.

Find it at thought it also might be worth giving an example of my stuff:

‘Crap Trap’ (re: “Rat Trap” -The Boomtown Rats)

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Well, we wonder when they might let us out, for more than just food, or drugs...(!).

While the government makes us isolate, just so they can feel safer, or more smug...(!).

With authority, but no answers…

That would protect, or advance us…

They don’t know the answers, so they’re just acting like ‘bouncers’...(!).

And they say “Walk… (-But not far…!)”,

“Walk… (-But not far…!).

“Talk… (-But in masks…!),”

”Talk… (-But in masks…!).

But, really, “Walk... (Not far…!)”…? (!).

Really “Talk… (-Only in masks…!)…? (!).

Yeah, really, “Walk... (Not far…!)”…? (!).

“Talk… (-Only in masks…!)…? (!).

And this is really, should we let them boss us, because we’re scared…?(!)

Really, they’re not sure, or their policies seem impaired…? (!)

Really, when they’ve been so slow, to bring policies in…? (!)

Really... -why just let them treat us like freaks…? (!)

We just wish, we could establish, ways to exist…

Shut in, with money running down…

But we’re just looking for ways out of this ‘crap trap’…(!)


Before we all drown…(!)

Thank you for the chance to show what I’ve been doing, and I hope your readers like the idea of it, a bit.

I’m waiting... ticket to where?

May Day 2020 - waiting for the 393, writes Mark Taylor, Hackney, full address supplied:

Church street - absently day dreaming.

Across the silent tarmac, 

The shimmering green space,

Fixes a memory.

Haphazardly the fairground sprouts - crushing cow parsley underfoot; 

Scent of promise and excitement. 


Vulgar red it approaches - stops, exhales. 

Uncertain, we count the beat of its engineered breathing - steady, reassuring.

Inside, as if it were a fairground carousel, 

The smiling golden horses, wait patiently.

Solitary riders take their seats - carefully apart.

It moves off. 

The fairground organ blasts; takes up the slack of silence. 

But - no sweaty, joyful, May Day whooping; or surprised children crying,

‘I want to get off’.

Time focuses, remembering the present. 

The riders dismount,  

Happy and unhappy; disorientated - grabbing each other for comfort. 

Awakening from the dreaming - the familiar betrays the unfamiliar, 

Horse chestnut bloom sits proud,

Cow parsley stands straight - takes stock, 

Draws back its scent - waiting. 

Sadiq Khan has decided to increase the Congestion Charge to £15, and expand it to seven days a week (7am-10pm), writes Shaun Bailey, Conservative candidate for Mayor of London.

New residents will also lose the resident discount.

I believe that this is a disastrous decision.

The whole country is looking to London, the nation’s economic engine room, to drive our economic recovery after lockdown. Now is the time to be supporting London’s businesses, not raising taxes on them.

In addition, the mayor has refused to make key workers such as police officers, teachers and firefighters exempt from the increased charge.

If you agree with me, please sign my petition to stop the charge hike at

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