A father with terminal cancer urges the British to take the closure more seriously so that he can spend quality time with his wife and family before dying.
Simon Cowls, 52, of Yelverton, Devon, is currently being treated with antibodies and is in the group with the highest risk of coronavirus complications because of his terminal cancer.
He and his wife Ali know their time together is limited and they planned to set off on a motorhome this month – until COVID-19 ended their plans.
The seriousness of Mr. Cowls’ condition means that he is now forced to isolate himself, even from his own wife. They kiss each other good night online via Skype.
Simon Cowls, 52, from Yelverton, Devon, is currently on antibodies and is in the group with the highest risk of coronavirus complications from his terminal cancer (depicted with wife Ali)
Mr Cowls and his wife Ali know their time together is limited and they planned to set off together in a motorhome this month – until COVID-19 ended their plans (Mr Cowls is pictured outside his motorhome)
He now lives in the van outside their house on the outskirts of Dartmoor, while Ali – who is also his caretaker – is in the middle of the strict two-week isolation before they get to see each other again. After that, the couple must remain in isolation for at least three months.
All Mr. Cowls wants is for the pandemic to end as soon as possible so that he can live a normal life, see his children again, and the couple can fulfill their dream of traveling in their van.
The couple are both frustrated that people aren’t taking the guidelines seriously enough, and Ali was shocked to see hundreds of day trippers standing in cars at their Dartmoor house on her last day to buy essentials before they shut down.
One of Mister Cowls’ sons lives in Belgium and flew home to see his father – but since Mister Cowls was identified as a high risk during COVID-19, he shouldn’t see anyone who hasn’t been completely isolated for 14 days.
His son is now grounded and cannot fly back to Belgium.
Despite the horrific situation, Mr. Cowls has amazed people with his optimistic attitude over four years of struggling to beat cancer (he is shown in the hospital being treated)
Another 569 deaths have been reported in the UK today, bringing the total death toll to 2,921
Despite the horrific situation, Mr. Cowls has amazed people for four years, struggling to defeat cancer, at his cheerful disposition.
He still makes funny videos on Facebook to make others laugh in light of the coronavirus pandemic: “It is my way of dealing with life despite all the hardships I have to deal with.”
And he admitted that his whole outlook on life has changed: “I hear other people say ‘This time next year’. There is no time for me next year.
“Every day is precious. I literally live one day at a time.
“When you’re facing your own mortality, the simplest things are most meaningful – to hear the birds in the morning. That’s worth more than any money in the bank.
“Having time with my wife, my children, my cats: that’s all. I cherish every second. ‘
All Mr. Cowls (pictured with his wife Ali) wants is for the pandemic to end as soon as possible so that he can live a normal life, see his children again, and fulfill the dream of traveling in their van.
Now the couple is counting every moment until Ali’s two-week isolation is over and they can be together again.
“We still have a week to go. It’s going to be great, “said Simon.
Even the ordinary practical things of life are difficult for the couple who can’t get out to buy food or essential prescriptions.
Cowls: ‘Despite being on the government’s most vulnerable list, we are still struggling. It’s not about money. We are not poor.
We cannot get online delivery. We received one of Boris’ food packages, but if the online shopping system worked, we wouldn’t need it.
“Our doctor tells us that people are storing their prescriptions. It all adds to the fear.
“I don’t know if people think they’re going to go to the system or the government with two fingers – but they’re actually sticking two fingers at the NHS, at their parents, their grandparents, and people like me.”
Mr. Cowls said, “It’s awful instead of traveling around making memories in our van I live in and it’s freaking freezing cold, which is of course a concern because I’m not exactly in good health.”
Ali recently stopped working at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth as Mr. Cowl’s caregiver. The two still hope to travel when the pandemic is over (photo, their motor home)
The pandemic has added to the stress of being terminally ill, removing support for the NHS as operations close, resources run out, and supplies run out.
“Suddenly you feel vulnerable, you feel isolated,” he said.
Mr. Cowls underwent chemotherapy, but responded poorly to the treatment.
He said, “I had a choice of going back to chemo or not getting treatment and growing the cancer.
“I can’t win. I’m going to die anyway. So we decided to take a break and go on a trip – but then this coronavirus pandemic started. ‘
Ali made a video of herself on Facebook saying, “I wish you all came from the Moors.
Ali said, “I isolate for one reason – to protect my husband. He has stage four colon cancer that has spread and we know he’s going to kill him and I’m trying to protect him as much as possible.
“In what could be his last year of life, we started doing things, and now we can’t because of this virus.
“How do people not get this message?
“We plan to leave and make memories and see the kids.”
Ali recently stopped working at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth as Mr. Cowl’s caregiver.