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Elstree historian vents anger over ‘illegal big parties’

Michelle Rosenberg criticises Jewish families for flouting guidelines as coronavirus spikes in Hertfordshire

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A Facebook post by a women’s historian expressing growing anger towards those in the community who were choosing to ignore the government’s attempts to contain coronavirus has been widely praised for its blunt but timely message ahead of Rosh Hashanah.

Michelle Rosenberg, a mother of two from Elstree, vented her frustration last week after the county of Hertfordshire was named as being an area experiencing one of the fastest growing number of Covid-19 cases.

One local councillor even went on to suggest the spike in the virus in Borehamwood, Elstree and Radlett among teenagers was a result of “friendship groups within the wider local Jewish community”.

PR consultant Mrs Rosenberg’s Facebook post included the harsh message: “To all the adults, parents and kids for whom the rules do not apply. Thank you.

“No, really. Thank you for f**king it up for everyone else. Thank you for the illegal big parties. The shared vaping. Thank you especially for not isolating when you or anyone in your family have symptoms because, let’s be honest. The rest of us don’t matter.

“Thank you for helping Hertfordshire and the ‘Jewish’ schools make it onto the news - because G-d knows they love us as a minority so much already. Thank you for being the reason families now can’t be together for Rosh Hashanah.”

With minutes of posting it, she was besieged with reaction  - the vast majority of it positive.

Mrs Rosenberg told the JC: “I wasn’t expecting the reaction it got and I want to make it clear I wasn’t going for anybody in particular.

“I wrote it because I was so angry and frustrated.

“I heard about the parties, certain people thinking these rules didn’t apply to them, that it was just business as usual.

“Dropping off my daughter to school there were mums who were encouraging kids to all get together and group hug for a photograph.

“I just watched  - my parents have been in isolation, my father is high-risk. 

“We have all gone to such great lengths over the past six or seven months to ensure that the majority of us stay safe and work towards getting life back to normal.

“There’s a few people who just don’t think  it applies to them.”

Over the past few weeks the JC has learned of several cases in which teenagers have been allowed to gather at houses where the adults in question have known full well that the gatherings posed a health risk and contravened Covid-19 regulations.

In other cases, families returned from holidays from Marbella, Spain and failed to observe self-isolation rules.

In another instance, a boy who was known to have tested positive for the virus, was allowed to attend a party packed with teenagers.

Mrs Rosenberg said she has no regrets about her message, and a follow-up on Facebook, with Rosh Hashanah now only days away.

“My hope would have been to spend Rosh Hashanah with my family, but we can’t this year. My father is having surgery. 

“They are nervous too about my two children, who are aged 13 and 14, and who they may have come in contact with at school.

“Everybody I have spoken to has resigned themselves to the fact that Rosh Hashanah this year is cancelled in this respect.

“It won’t be Rosh Hashanah like it is normally.  But this is all unprecedented. A lot of people are just pulling down the shutters and retreating until there is some sense of normality again.”

 

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