Mum who thinks Covid-19 is a hoax ignores self-isolation and sends kid to school

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A mum who thinks coronavirus is a hoax sent her child to school when they should have been self-isolating at home, a council leader says.

The conspiracy theorist kept flouting the rules and was putting lives at risk, said Cllr Rob Jones, leader of Neath Port Talbot Council in South Wales.

In another incident, a schoolgirl refused to wear a face mask because she thought it would spoil her make-up, Cllr Jones told WalesOnline.

The Labour councillor has hit out at Covid-19 deniers, rule breakers and young people who aren't taking the virus seriously, as the UK battles a second wave of the disease, which has claimed more than 71,000 lives based on death certificates mentioning the novel coronavirus.

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He said there are parents in the county borough who believe coronavirus if a hoax and refuse to comply with rules, such as isolating their children, after having contact with someone who tested positive or displayed symptoms.

Urging people to follow the guidelines, Cllr Jones said the rules are not a "a Machiavellian plot of some sort" designed to take away people's freedom.

He said said: "This is about saving lives, end of. It beggars belief and the amount of deniers that I come across where they’re absolutely slating the local authority for a course of action that we insist on taking.

"They’re not only putting themselves at risk. They’re putting the students at risk and the wider community."

He added: "In all walks of life you will always have the minority spoiling it for the majority.

"If this virus adversely affected young people – I mean anyone under 30 – parents and grandparents would do absolutely everything in their power to protect those people.

"They’d stay in for a whole year if it protected their children and I would do the same.

"Because it’s the reverse, it’s not being reciprocated by the younger element of communities."

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A coronavirus testing centre in Wales following the firebreak lockdown (file photo)
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Cllr Jones said the local authorities have not taken any "draconian" measures against residents who have flouted the rules.

No-one has been taken to court and no pupils have been excluded from schools for breaches.

The council leader said: "That would be an ultimate use of the powers.

"There are far better ways of using dialogue to persuade people that it’s in their interest, the interest of their families and the wider community to comply."

He also hit out at about 30 people who attended an anti-lockdown protest in Neath while Wales was in a firebreak lockdown in November.

Cllr Jones said: "These deniers, I don’t care what they say. The majority of people are realising or experiencing the effects of what covid really does."

He urged deniers to think about those who have lost family members and friends to Covid-19, as well as frontline healthcare workers who are saving lives while putting their own at risk.

He said: "There are friends of mine whose partners have died during this time and can’t fully express themselves. Weddings are being postponed because of Covid, baptisms, 60th wedding anniversaries, 50th birthdays.

The daily number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK
(Image: Press Association Images)

The number of deaths by age and gender in England and Wales
(Image: ONS)

"There are a lot of people who’ve lost out because of Covid. Go and speak to some of those people."

Cllr Jones' father died in January before situation in the UK became dire and lockdowns were imposed.

He said: "When I look back on that, that church was full to standing and the crem was full. I thank God that my father died at that time which gave us a full and comprehensive celebration of his life.

"I now look at those that are dying whose families are restricted in church services, in the crematorium.

"Those that are complying by self isolating, keeping their distance, washing their hands, staying at home, I take my hat off to.

"I applaud them 100 per cent for the efforts that they’re making to try and keep the community safe and more importantly themselves and their families. That’s their way of protecting those that they love."

Cllr Jones fears there could be a third wave of the virus if people continue to flout the rules.

He said: "It’s a worrying time. None of the winter pressures have started yet. The normal winter spreading of flu and pneumonia hasn’t started yet.

"You will still get the zealots that under no circumstances will follow the rules. That is clearly evident in relation to the second wave where people thought, ‘It’s all over, let’s go out and party’.

"I think to a certain degree that’s what’s worrying a lot of politicians including myself in terms of what Christmas is going to bring."

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