THE news that Prince Charles has jumped the queue for Covid-19 testing and scurried off to the Scottish Highlands to lie low after a positive result highlights how senior Royal family members put their own medical welfare above that of front line health workers, disregard government instructions to stay put and continue to get preferential treatment over the rest of us.

No willingness has yet been forthcoming from them to free up surplus accommodation in their three vast London palaces, nor at Windsor Castle or Sandringham, in order to alleviate the chronic shortage of beds available to the NHS and social care services to house and treat the virus stricken and homeless.

In the meantime, Harry and Meghan live the good life in Canada, the rapidly mounting bill for their personal security still the sole responsibility of the British taxpayer, money so desperately needed to buy extra masks, gloves, gowns and ventilators for our heroic doctors and nurses.

The retail sector, meanwhile, persists in greeting customers with empty shelves and no serious deterrence to stockpiling, that exasperating habit which can so easily be discouraged if stores will only dispense with the stacks of cumbersome, slow-moving trolleys that confront shoppers just as they go in – there merely, it seems, to entice them to disregard hand baskets and purchase much more than they need.

The inevitable results of this cynical mismanagement are clogged aisles and chaotic social distancing, a feature repeated in the long lines of early morning shoppers breathing down each other’s necks as they jostle to be among the first to enter.

The government’s failure to lockdown London leaves coastal towns like ours especially vulnerable to a major imminent spike in infection rates, an inevitable trend given our large elderly population and the enduring attraction of our community to younger people, many already infected with the virus but as yet entirely asymptomatic, who still face no obstacles in flocking here from the capital.

Do our political leaders care? Don’t bet on it.


Julyan Avenue, Poole