'I fear we'll lose more to loneliness than Covid' - Doncaster residents reveal divided views on 'very high' restrictions

Tough new measures are coming into force to curb the spread of the coronavirus in Doncaster – but residents are split on whether they support the new restrictions.

By David Kessen
Friday, 23rd October 2020, 12:30 pm

The borough has been moved from tier two, or high restrictions, to tier three, or very high, restrictions. It means businesses including pubs that don’t serve food can’t open, and residents cannot meet people from other households in their homes or gardens.

Residents out walking in Doncaster today raised concerns some ill just ignore the new restrictions, while others explained why they thought they agreed that they had to be brought in.

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Doncaster town centre is marked out with for social distancing signs. Silver street.

Grandmother and care worker Ginnette Reckless, from Edenthorpe, does not believe the new restrictions will make a difference.

She said: “I think most people now are getting fed up with it. I work in a nursing home, and we have closely been following all the rules.

"I don’t think moving into tier three will make a difference to me. I’m in a bubble with my daughter and my grandchildren. I’m at work, and with my family, and I don’t think it will affect me too much.

"I’m concerned that there will be people who just ignore it though. You still see youths meeting on their bikes in Edenthorpe, and I’ve seen people without masks on the buses. Last Saturday I got on a bus and at the front was a man who seemed drunk, singing, with no mask. There was a woman who shouted at him to put a mask on.

Jim Green - Doncaster tier three vox pop

"I’m concerned that we’ll lose more elderly people because they’re depressed at not been able to see their families than because of Covid."

Kathleen Williams, aged 69, from Rossington, suffered from diabetes and uses a mobility scooter to get around. She is currently waiting for an operation, which she fears will be delayed by the pandemic.

She said: “I don’t really think we need the move to tier three – it is just too many people don’t apply the rules that we’ve had. There are peoeple who are not keeping their distance, or go to the shops without masks.

"It’s not fair on older people who have to stay in most of the time.

Kathleen Williams - Doncaster tier three vox pop

"But I will not stay in the house all the time. I recently lost my husband, and I think if I stayed in the house on my own all the time, I’d be joining him.

"So I wouldn’t like to see if go any further.

"You do see people with no masks in the shops, and I think there needs to be stricter enforcement. I went shopping a couple of weeks ago and someone just walked into me. She said she was too busy looking at the shelves.

"I was due to have a spinal operation, and went for scans just before Covid. I’ve been told I have to wait for a phone call.”

Ginette Reckless - Doncaster tier three vox pop

Jim Green, aged 68, of Belle Vue, served in the armed forces for 27 years.

He said: “I don’t think it effects me to much being a pensioner. I like to go out for walks, and it is all right to carry on walking.

"But I image it must affect people with small businesses, and I think some of what we hear is there to frighten people.

“It comes down to how seriously you want to take the virus. I personally wonder if I’ve had the virus already and got over it. I understand Belle Vue, where I live, has had a lot of cases and deaths.

"I’ve a friend who works in a supermarket, and they’ve never closed down.

"I think the Government has done the right thing."

Carol Manson, Doncaster tier three vox pop

Ian Johnson, aged 52, from Rossington, works in a pub. He said he supported the move to tier three and felt he needed a rest after challenging times at work.

He said: “It has been hard work, with table service, and we can’t have as many staff as usual because there are less people coming in to pay for us.

"And we have people telling us we’re being too strict with the safety measures in place.

"I think safety comes first. I think there are places that do what they want and get away with it, and everywhere should be checked, and checked at night, when they’re busy.

"I live on my own, and I will still go to the gym. But I think it is a good thing. I hope we get the numbers down and have Christmas where people are able to meet.”

Carol Manson, aged 72, from Bessacarr, will not be able to see her grandchildren because of the new restrictions, but supports the move to tier three.

She said: “I just think everyone moans at Boris, but everyone is in the dark with this, and they’re trying to do their best.

"I think it’s got to be done. I can appreciate the concerns of those who are losing business, or have children and home, and have to work from home. But things could escalate if we don’t do something. I think lockdowns in different areas is a good idea.

“I’m involved with Doncaster Rowing Cub, and we’ve stopped that for the next couple of weeks.

"I’m not able to see my family at present. I have a son in Dubai and haven’t seen him or his family since Christmas. I have another in Bristol. We met him and his family in Birmingham last week because we knew things were going to get worse.

"But my view is we’ve got to get on with it to save lives.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.

Ian Johnson, Doncaster, tier three vox pop