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So who gets to attend my father’s funeral in this era of Covid lockdown?

Tom Winnifrith
Wednesday 21 October 2020

There are six of us who called my father Dad and we have all been fairly reproductive. Thus with my father’s sister and his carer we are already at 24. And that number would have been higher had my wife not been almost due to produce a final grandchild and had my son not been too young to understand why so many are in tears. The Mrs and Joshua will not attend. Pro tem my father and the vicar do not count in the 30 who can attend, although I gather that the Welsh Government is considering changing the status of priests and corpses for services in this rain sodden Police state*.

My father’s sister lives up the road from me here in Wales but in a different county and she reports that, in her neck of the woods, the North Wales old bill have been stopping folks who they suspect of crossing county lines, something that is already illegal in much of Wales, and handing out spot fines.  This crisis has brought joy as it empowers those with fascistic tendencies such as the North Wales Old Bill, a force well known for persecuting motorists who do 31 mph in a 30 zone and the new army of Covid Marshals.

But Aunt L will dash across the county border on the day of the funeral and drive to Shipston with me over to free England so we are at 24. My father touched so many lives in his own 82 years on this planet. Numerous former colleagues have been in touch as well as residents of Shipston and our old village of Harbury. There are former students, devoted nephews, nieces, cousins, in laws, his old friends from his student days, all sort of folks. Some, of course, are too old to come or live abroad and for them there is the Godsend of a zoom alternative.  Gosh the Church of England is hip and with it.

But who else should one invite?  Shipston’s church is large, far larger than, for instance, the White Bear in the town square. Yet my father’s old boozer will have far more than 30 people in it, none of them wearing masks, this weekend. Can Boris Johnson please explain to grieving folks up and down the country what “science” allows more folks to cram into a boozer without masks than to attend a funeral in a far larger space? Of course he cannot.  There is no data to justify this limit. It is just another random measure by a Government – egged on by the media and political class in its GroupThink funk – trying to show that it is doing something. Even if that something is neither justified or of any use.

So who will be grieving with me at my father’s funeral and who must shed tears by zoom?  And why do those responsible for this madness, by which I do mean the entire political class, think that folks such as me will ever forgive them or cease to regard them with unbridled contempt?

*Before any po faced cottage burners contact me to slate me for criticising the dear Leader of this great nation, this is an attempt at a joke. As far as I know, jokes about the political pygmies who run this country are not yet illegal in Wales although under the next bout of Covid restrictions they may well be.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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