'My wife's job at Tesco could kill me': Husband faces living in caravan during coronavirus lockdown

By Richard Guttridge | Wolverhampton | Coronavirus | Published:

A grandfather with serious health conditions could have to temporarily separate from his wife over fears she could give him coronavirus as she is still having to work at Tesco.

David Potts

David Potts, from Lanesfield in Wolverhampton, suffers with lung disease, Crohn's disease and has had two heart attacks, including one just last month - and says he may have to go and live in a caravan.

His precarious health puts him in the at-risk category and the 56-year-old is currently self-isolating.

Mr Potts' wife, however, still has to work, despite the threat being in a supermarket all day around members of the public could pose to her husband.

Under Tesco's current policy, she would not be entitled to sick pay if she stays off work to protect her husband as she or anyone in her household does not have symptoms - and therefore is not sick.

Tesco is following Government advice and has put measures in place to support its staff who are vulnerable or over 70.

Staff with concerns have also been advised to speak to their managers.

But the Potts, like many other families up and down the country, find themselves in a difficult, and worrying, situation where one half of the couple has serious health conditions and must be shielded at home while the other is a key worker and needs to keep money coming into the household.

Mr Potts' wife is continuing to work at Tesco


Mr Potts says it could result in him taking the painful decision to leave the family home for now. And he says the only option open to him is a caravan.

Contracting coronavirus could be life-threatening for Mr Potts.

He said: "At the moment the situation is my wife is still working. But there is a chance she could bring it back.

"We are vigilant and we wash our hands but there could be a momentary lapse. If she brings it back and touches a surface and then I touch the surface, it's on my hands, then I touch my face and I've got it.


"The truth is if I get the virus there is a possibility I am not going to survive it.

"You see it on the telly. In Italy people are dying from it in hospital.

"My wife is the only bread winner in the family. She can't afford to take time off unpaid.

"I don't want my wife going off to work, picking it up, bringing it home and passing it on to me.

"We are left in a quandary at the moment and I have to take ownership of the situation myself and make the decision as to whether I remain at home with her."

Staying with family presents difficulties as some are NHS workers and others have children.

Mr Potts said: "My only alternative would be to stop in my daughter's touring caravan."

The grandfather says he is unsure what would happen if his wife of 35 years, who he asked not to be named, was to refuse to work or if he would be entitled to extra support, admitting he is confused as "clarity is very sparse".

If one thing is clear, it is that he will not entertain the prospect of his wife leaving the family home.

"I am not going to do that to my wife. She deserves better than that."

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Investigations Editor - @RichG_star

Investigations Editor for the Express & Star.

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