As I type the copy for this latest edition of the Chronicle the furore around the PM’s Chief Advisor Dominic Cummings continues. His 60-mile round trip to Barnard Castle, Co. Durham, to test his eyesight (allegedly affected as a result of succumbing to COVID19) has left me scratching my head in bewilderment for several reasons.
Firstly, he had his wife and child in the car. Now, I’m no genius, but if I was concerned about my eyesight, I wouldn’t put the two most important people in my life in the car with me if I thought I couldn’t see well enough to drive. Secondly, he could have asked his wife to drive & he could have checked his vision from the comfort of the passenger seat, without being a danger or menace to himself, his family, or other road users. Thirdly, why even get in the car in the first place? They were self-isolating on a remote farm, where he could easily have measured the required distance of 20.5m to see if he could read a number plate. And most baffling of all, if he was concerned about his eyesight why not call an allied health professional who could provide him with expert clinical advice and guidance? If only there was such a person available, I don’t know, someone like an Optometrist maybe? A quick Google search tells me there are three Opticians in Barnard Castle alone, I’m sure at least one of those practices would have been able to offer him good, sound, professional advice. As if this wasn’t bad enough, the attempts by Michael Gove to double down on the matter by defending Cummings’ actions on national TV the following day by admitting that he too had, on occasion, driven a car in order to assess whether his vision was impaired enough to not get behind the wheel left me speechless! Whilst Mr Gove admitted he was “no authority on automotive matters” it would also appear that neither he nor Mr Cummings have an ounce of common sense! Not to be left out, BoJo has also reported that his eyesight was affected by COVID19, and so found Cummings’ story “entirely plausible”, yet research from Wuhan found that conjunctivitis as a side-effect of COVID19 was rare, with somewhere between 1%-3% of patients affected. BoJo and Cummings’ both having eyesight problems after coronavirus – what are the chances heh? Whether Cummings gets the chop remains to be seen, but if he does I’m sure he’ll have a bright future ahead of him, possibly as a panellist on “Would I Lie To You?”.
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