This week I heard that my aunt’s father died from Covid-19 infection. He was resident in a care home where ten more people including a member of staff have died after contracting the virus. There are apparently over a dozen others in the same facility showing signs of infection. Because of lockdown restrictions, his family were unable to visit other than to look in from a window, and so he had no direct contact with his loved ones when he passed away. The funeral will have restriction on attendance, and there can be no church service. They are obviously heartbroken. What would already have been a very difficult experience is made all the more terrible by the conditions in which it has taken place.
He was a WWII veteran, having fought through Western Europe from D-Day until he was injured by enemy fire in Holland, wherupon he returned home to recover. Now he has died during the current pandemic.
As the lockdown in the UK has been in place for over six weeks, and as the incubation period of the infection is up to fourteen days, this means that he has become infected since the lockdown began. At some point, most likely unknowingly, someone has come into contact with a contaminated surface or an infected person and had brought the virus into the care home where it has spread amongst the residents and staff. This fact illustrates why social distancing and proper hygiene is so important if we are to get the situation under control. The high number of deaths due to Covid-19 in UK care-homes is a tragedy.
Earlier this week, government sources gave hints that there would likely be a lifting of some of the lockdown measures announced this weekend, and some hints were given as to what these might be. The mainstream press had a field day. Headlines were written in a way that all but implied that the lockdown would be coming to an end. This, along with the VE Day holiday seems to have resulted in a considerable number of people suddenly relaxing their commitment to the lockdown rules to hold street parties. While many of these street parties were clearly described as being held in such a way as to maintain social distancing rules, it has become quickly apparent that this fell through in many cases with people mingling together like the virus has gone away. I’ve seen footage online of people having group singalongs and even a whole street of residents performing the conga. While they did appear to be two metres apart, I’m not sure this constitutes a necessary activity, even if it was 75-years since the war ended.
My fear is that we will now see a spike in infections in the coming weeks, just as things were starting to get a little better. I can only hope that more WWII veterans (and indeed anyone else) does not become infected or killed by this virus as a consequence of people’s desire to get out and celebrate. It will be a terribly irony if further survivors of WWII lose their lives as a result of people celebrating the end of it.
I don’t really have a picture to illustrate the words in my post, so here’s another from my pre-pandemic outing to Magpie Mine.
Stay safe everyone.
Yashica Mat 124G & Fomapan 100.
Taken on 16 March 2020