Covid: ‘I couldn’t visit my brother to tell him my mom died’

By Mary O’Connor
BBC news

Here are some of these stories.

“Ruby would be so upset”

image source Emma Jones
Image caption,

Ruby asked to be remembered by her motto – live kindly, live out loud

The blocking rules meant that Ruby had to say goodbye to her friends, grandparents and other relatives via video call from the family home at Crystal Palace in south London.

Her mother, Emma Jones, says that Boris Johnson’s apology does not go far enough and he should resign as prime minister.

She told the BBC that she now felt “stupid” for complying with the restrictions and that it “really outraged” the people who had made the rules, as if they had only made them for “little people”.

Although she does not blame Mr. Johnson for the pandemic of Ruby’s death, Ms. Jones, a 51-year-old environmental consultant, says compliance with the restrictions has made the “unbearably painful” situation of her daughter’s death much more difficult.

She says the “most destructive” was how the restrictions have affected Ruby’s closest friends in her last weeks.

Because they couldn’t say goodbye to her in person or be together, their mourning was much harder, he says.

Before she died, Ruby wrote a list of things she wanted her family to do. One of the requirements was that they remember it with the phrase “live kindly, live out loud.”

By talking about the latest revelations, Emma feels that she fulfills her daughter’s motto.

“Ruby would be so crazy about it. She took part in every protest, and if a march took place in this case, she would go to it with her protest banner.”

‘I couldn’t visit my brother to tell him my mom died’

image source Toni Kent
Image caption,

Toni told her brother the news of their mother’s death via an internet call

Toni Kent contacted us to say that her mother died on May 22, 2020, a few days after the Downing Street party. The current blocking rules then prevented her from communicating the message to her brother in person.

Tony’s brother has Down Syndrome and lives in a nursing home. He had to report to him via internet call while he was supported by care assistants.

“You can imagine how heartbreaking it was,” Toni says. “He talked to our mother every day and she was his only parent.

“It’s disgusting to find that there was a party between people who told us we couldn’t meet.”

“My wife lives with guilt for not seeing her mother before she died.”

image source Jamie Briffett
Image caption,

Only nine people were allowed to enter Jamie Briffett’s mother-in-law’s funeral

A man whose mother-in-law died alone 10 days before drinking on Downing Street says he is upset that the government has seemingly broken its own rules.

Jamie Briffett of Caerphilly, Wales says only nine people could attend the funeral.

His wife shielded herself as she waited for the liver transplant she underwent in October 2020, she says.

“She feels deeply sorry and guilty for not being able to be with her mother in her last days, she will feel it for the rest of her life,” he says.

“We find it completely outrageous and irresponsible that the government was able to go on and hold a party while so many of their fellow citizens followed the rules.

“It’s completely unacceptable and absolutely shocking,” he says. “The prime minister should calm down, admit it and confront the music.”

“Instead of holding my mom, I filmed my brother dying.”

Image caption,

Lisa Wilkie and her brother Graham, who died in May 2020

Lisa Wilkie Graham’s brother was in the hospital’s intensive care unit on May 20, 2020 – the day garden drinks on Downing Street took place.

He died a few days later. Covid’s rules meant that relatives could not be with him or mourn.

“Instead of holding my mom, I held the phone and filmed my brother dying,” she told BBC News.

“People sacrificed so much. People died following the rules and they did.” [the Downing Street party guests] he broke these rules to get a bottle of wine. “

“I was left alone hours after the traumatic birth”

Image caption,

Lydia said she felt alone in some of the most difficult moments

Lydia East gave birth to her son Ellis after a traumatic emergency caesarean section. Covid’s rules meant that a few hours later, her husband Adam was sent home and left her alone in the hospital.

She says it is disturbing to hear that 100 people were invited to a Downing Street party when she could not have one person to hold her hand during a situation that was life and death at one point.

When her newborn son cried, she says that during difficult times she had no loved ones to help her.

“There were times when he cried and I went to get out of the hospital bed and I just got stuck, basically because I was attached to the drip,” he says.

“I didn’t reach the call button because it was on the other side of the bed.”

‘I sweated in PPE while No. 10 drank’

Image caption,

Dr. Saleyha Ahsan lost her father to Covid

An NHS doctor described Boris Johnson’s apology for drinks on Downing Street as offensive because she remembers sweating while working at full PPE at about the same time the incident occurred.

Dr. Saleyha Ahsan, who lost her father because of Covid, says she believes the prime minister’s situation is now unsustainable.

Hearing about “another offense, another lapsis” from top government officials is “traumatizing,” he says, and health workers “feel insulted en masse.”

“And what did I do in May 2020? I was wearing PPE. Yeah, the weather was warm. I was sweating. I tried not to faint every time I went to the contamination room to see the patient who had Covid in full.” OOP.

“We didn’t go out tonight to meet as colleagues for a drink.”

More news from Doug Faulkner, Graham Satchell, Vicki Young and UGC.

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