A clip of a feisty pensioner from South Yorkshire has gone viral after she said she doesn’t “give a sod” about staying at home after it was announced the region would be put under tier 3 coronavirus restrictions this weekend.
The 83-year-old woman from Barnsley told BBC News she was opposed to the new measures that will apply to Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield. Other areas under tier 3 include Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Liverpool.
It came as Sheffield City mayor Dan Jarvis said he had secured a £41m deal for economic support from the government to accompany the new lockdown restrictions.
Under the ‘very high’ alert level, pubs and bars must close, unless they are able to operate as a restaurant. People are not allowed to mix with different households indoors or outdoors in a public space and are advised against travelling in or out of tier 3 areas.
When asked for her opinion on the move, the woman said: “I think it’s all ridiculous, we should never have been in lockdown. All the people who were vulnerable should have been helped and kept home safe.
“And all the rest of us, I’m 83, I don’t give a sod. I look at it this way, I’ve not got all that many years left of me and I’m not going to be fastened in a house when the government have got it all wrong.
“How can we get the country on its feet? Money-wise? Where’s all the money?
“By the end of this year there’s going to be millions of people unemployed and you know who’s going to pay for it? All the young ones. Not me because I’m going to be dead.”
The woman’s candid answers divided opinion on social media, striking a chord with some but angering others who thought she was “selfish”.
One Twitter user, who said their daughter was a nurse, pointed out that if the woman had to be admitted to hospital staff “will be expected to put themselves in harm’s way to look after her”.
“Or what about the other people she might infect before she realises she has it?” they added.
But others heaped praise on her “fabulous” attitude and some people shared stories about their own elderly parents and grandparents who felt the same way.
“My 83-year-old dad said the same this morning when I visited him,” said one person. “He’s generally a happy-go-lucky person. I’ve never seen him so down and depressed, I’m really worried about him.”
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer claimed on Wednesday that the government’s flagship three-tier lockdown system had created a “gateway to months of agony”, with the most stringent tier offering communities “the worst of all worlds” by inflicting significant harm on their economies without freeing them from Covid-19.
But Mr Jarvis said that moving South Yorkshire under tier 3 was the “responsible route”, adding: “Inaction was not an option.”