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While Boris Johnson partied, I helped a child put on PPE to see his dying dad | Rachel Clarke

NHS doctors were grateful to the public who followed Covid rules. The PM’s glass of wine has been thrown in all our faces

Nine in the room, if you include the photographer. Eight glasses held high, a table strewn with bottles. Not a mask to be seen, not a hint of social distancing. They’re standing mere breaths apart. And there, holding court, centre stage – all grins and clownish mop of hair and crumpled, easy swagger – is Boris, good old Boris. Knees up, guard down, clearly raising a toast in a room full of alcohol. It all looks so very jolly.

Only at a second glance do you notice the red box that sits askew upon a chair, slung there like an afterthought. Then, in the foreground, a further revelation. As if designed to mock, tucked away between the bottles is that icon of the Covid age – a plastic pump dispenser of hand sanitiser. And how absurd it looks, how silly, this token nod towards curtailing infection amid the booze and grins and genial dissolution of another night of No 10 flicking the finger to the nation.

Rachel Clarke is a palliative care doctor and the author of Breathtaking: Inside the NHS in a Time of Pandemic

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