Dominey Jenner: Covid House Arrest

My eleven year-old daughter is currently under house arrest. She is not allowed to leave our home to attend school, to exercise, or to visit friends or family. She is not able pop to the shops to spend her pocket money, take her bike for a spin around the park or participate in her (beloved) ballet lessons. She cannot enjoy the last of the early autumn sunshine, get her football boots muddy or attend her singing lessons. The list of prohibitions goes on, with no exemptions stated.

What terrible crime did this eleven year-old girl commit to invoke such a punitive response? She must, surely, be a great danger to the population at large, to justify such harsh restrictions on her liberty?

My daughter’s only crime was to sit next to her friend on a twenty-minute coach journey to a Games lesson; a friend who four days later tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Deemed a ‘close contact’ by public health officials, my daughter had to be collected immediately from school, and so began her incarceration.

Now of course, I understand the reasoning behind the requirement for my daughter to self-quarantine. The argument runs that, given her close contact with a positive case, she might have contracted the virus herself; and might, for the next fourteen days, be contagious; and so might, possibly, pass it on to someone else with whom she might have contact; and that person might be really old, or they might have underlying health conditions which makes them more vulnerable and so they might die!! Best surely, just to lock her up for fourteen days? It’s the kind thing to do, right?

As you can see, the self-quarantine policy is founded on an awful lot of conjecture. It takes the precautionary principle to an absurd extreme. Without interrogating each of these conditional assumptions individually, the weakness of this policy is evident from the fact that that my daughter has remained completely healthy since her contact with the positive case. In addition to this, all the people that she had contact with in the four days between sitting next to her friend and her confinement, have been fine too. This includes her class of twenty-one other children, her football team, the guests at her sister’s ninth birthday party, her French horn teacher (I thought wind instruments were supposed to be deadly?), and a dance class of around twelve. Did I forget someone? Oh yes, she also saw mum, who has stage four cancer. She’s completely fine. We’re all fine. Except perhaps my locked-up little girl.

Surely, it would be better to make policy, especially policy this extreme, based on established facts? It is now abundantly clear that children are at no risk from the virus and that they play a minimal role in the chain of transmission to adults; those at the greatest risk are the elderly and those with underlying health conditions. Given that the stated aim of this draconian policy is to ‘prevent the spread of the virus…particularly (to) those who are clinically extremely vulnerable’, would it not be eminently more sensible to insist that it is they that stay at home? In doing so we would effectively cut out the middle-man and thousands of healthy children could go back to work and play. When I proposed this on Twitter, someone joked ‘outrageous common sense! Send her to the gulag!’ It made me laugh and reminded me of Orwell’s dystopian ‘1984’ where, ‘the heresy of heresies was common sense’.

Actually, I would never propose an enforced quarantine of anybody. I would advocate for those vulnerable to Covid-19 to be able to choose how they would like to respond – to make their own personal risk assessment. Perhaps there could be some government support for those who needed it. Were this approach to be implemented it would free up an amazing £100 billion per year as the Moonshot project would be rendered unnecessary. Surely that would be more than enough to fully support people in their own homes, if that’s where they wanted to be?

And we all know that, in reality, those who are deemed vulnerable are already making those choices for themselves. That’s why we were at my mum’s when my daughter might have been contagious. Despite having been given ten months to live, she would far rather spend that time enjoying her family than sitting on her own at home because she might catch Covid and die a little earlier than expected. Conversely, my parents-in-law, both in their seventies have decided not to see their grandchildren until this has all blown over. Whether I agree with them or not, is immaterial here. What is clear, is that vulnerable people are already self-isolating where they see fit.

I am continually grateful for the contribution of Professors Heneghan, Gupta and Sikora (among others) in seeking to promote a more targeted approach. It is frustrating though that their voices are not cutting through more effectively. There appears to be a determination within government to ignore them – their invitation to No. 10 seemingly a token gesture. This was effectively confirmed by Whitty’s assertion in the coronavirus briefing, broadcast on 21st September that, ‘you cannot in an epidemic just take your own risk. Unfortunately, you’re taking a risk on behalf of everybody else’.

My hope now lies in the introduction of the new Self-Isolation Regulations which came into force on Monday. It would appear that the government may have finally overplayed its hand. The requirement for all close contacts to self-isolate for fourteen days is now clearly stated in law – any appeal to ‘it’s only guidance’, is now impossible. The maximum penalty for absconding has been increased from £1,000 to £10,000. And there continues to be no opportunity to gain an exemption with a negative test. I am, of course, appalled by this tightening of the screws but it has, at least, got the attention of some of our county’s top lawyers.

Questions have been raised about the legality of the new regulations, with reference to the Public Health Act (1984) being strained, and also regarding Article 5 of the European Convention of Human Rights. I’m not a lawyer, but as a mother witnessing first-hand the fallout of a government that refuses to refine its policies, I hope they are finally held to account in the courts. I don’t know what the penalty for false imprisonment is, but wouldn’t it be wonderful if the punishment were to fit the crime?

Update: Please support this website by donating via KoFi, subscribing via SubscribeStar or Patreon, or buying my book (see right-hand sidebar for links). Independent media like Hector Drummond Magazine, and my constantly updated Twitter and Parler accounts, cannot survive without your support.

Update 2: Sorry for lack of posts in the last few days, it’s purely because there is now so much to get on top of, and today I was helping out one of our most admirable journalists. (Let’s just say that things really have changed at the Daily Mail.) I have some good articles in the pipeline ready to go, plus more graphs, which will be going up over the next few days.

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7 thoughts on “Dominey Jenner: Covid House Arrest

  1. Great article. I have a similar situation myself with a son (19 years old) told to ‘stay in his room’ at University because someone on his corridor had symptoms. Someone he has never met. It is now personal and I am angry.
    One day, when the history of this mad interlude is written, it will be asked how we so completely lost our ability for rational analysis. The loss of liberties and the ‘quarantining’ of the young and healthy are, by any standard, the most extraordinary measures. And extraordinary measures require an extraordinary threat or an extraordinary reason, all backed up by extraordinary evidence. All of which is lacking. `Current global survival rate is 99.987%.

  2. Good piece. The house imprisonment is tyrannical, more so when it’s not based on a diagnosis but on an unreliable indicative RT-PCR test. Demand your daughter is re-tested after every positive test

    Explanation of RT-PCR test:
    Casedemic: How governments are playing with numbers

    Furthermore, the consequence of developing C-19 is at worst same as Flu for all

    That’s why we were at my mum’s when my daughter might have been contagious. Despite having been given ten months to live, she would far rather spend that time enjoying her family than sitting on her own at home because she might catch Covid and die a little earlier than expected

    Well done your mum, she’s not alone my 80 year old mum values seeing her children too

    Stuart Wheeler’s Farewell Party During Lockdown
    … One day during the lockdown, his friends found this e-mail in their inbox:

    “As many of you know, I have cancer and my doctors do not expect me to live more than about six months. So what would I prefer – to never see again my and my daughters´ friends? Or to see them, taking the very slight risk of catching the virus from them, which might shorten my life by a few months? The answer is crystal clear to me…”

    “No one who, for my sake, declines an invitation to visit us at the castle, is doing me a favour,” he wrote. “On the contrary, by depriving me of their company, they are doing me a great disfavour.

  3. @John C
    This mad interlude has continued for 40+ years now: PC, AGW, Climate Change, Plastic, BLM, LBGTQxyz and now Plague

    Our MPs needed to stand up to Hancock on Wednesday and end this, instead they ignored reality and gave deranged PM Hancock another six months of autocratic rule

    .…There was some sign of hope in the last week that some members might vote down its renewal. But in the event the hyped-up rebellion led by Sir Graham Brady settled for an amendment to the renewal of the Act to secure their vote for it. This was that there should be prior parliamentary scrutiny of major national coronavirus regulations.

    So that was it, and this dreadful Act, which grants potentially dangerous powers which include detaining some persons indefinitely, taking biological samples, and giving directions about dead bodies; powers which last up to two years with six-monthly reviews, plus lockdown powers that can prevent protests against such measures, sailed through.

    It is there for another six months before it can be reviewed again by Parliament. During which time we continue to be curfewed, locked down, denied normal human contact and threatened with fines, arrests and even the troops if we do not comply. For a virus whose danger has been highly exaggerated and regarding the ‘control’ of which there is no evidence these measures work. This is what the cowardly bunch of jobsworth MPs in Parliament have allowed…

    It is ever more important that as many people as possible sign this petition to Repeal the Coronavirus Act. You can find it here.

    Please do. And alert your MP that you have. It needs far more signatures. Please share it as widely as possible

  4. It seems like Whitty has described every year previously where annual epidemics of flu and pneumonia have cumulatively cost far more lives than Covid: “you cannot in an epidemic just take your own risk. Unfortunately, you’re taking a risk on behalf of everybody else”

  5. I am beginning to think that many require much more real risk in there lives in order to gain a sense of proportion and less vicarious enjoyment of pretended risk.

    Any suggestions for a programmed return to sanity and away from self-regarding indulgence?

  6. Rick – a removal of all of our self-regarding indulgences and vicarious enjoyments is coming soon, whether any of us want it or not. It will wash away all progress – good and bad alike – and replace it with something nobody reading this will enjoy.

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