I had intended to take a few days off from blogging because we got some terrible news on Sunday evening, just as we were sitting down to dinner one of my husband’s relatives phoned from the USA to tell him that his sister had died suddenly of covid the night before.
Edie was my husband’s only sibling, she was only 50 years of age. She had been admitted to hospital in Connecticut on the preceding Friday but hospitals there are overwhelmed just now and she had been left lying on a trolley in a corridor for several hours. There are far more people in the USA who have refused the vaccine than here, even in states like Connecticut. In America the Republicans have shamelessly and cynically politicised measures to mitigate the pandemic and as a direct result the omicron variant is running rampant amongst the unvaccinated. In some states, especially in Trump supporting districts, less than half the population is vaccinated. Hospitals in some areas are close to breaking point, with exhausted and emotionally and physically drained staff struggling to cope with a flood of covid patients.
Feeling ill, tired, and frustrated, but unable to sleep or rest because of all the noise and clamour of an overly busy hospital rushing past her bed, Edie discharged herself so she could go home and get to her own bed where she hoped to get the sleep she was craving. She still felt very poorly on the Saturday when my husband and I spoke to her on the phone, but she assured us that she was feeling a bit better and we thought that she was on the mend.
Tragically she went to bed on Saturday evening and never woke up again. My mother in law found her dead in bed on Sunday morning. She must have passed away in her sleep sometime during the night. It’s not much of a comfort, but at least she passed away peacefully and didn’t suffer. News of her death came as a terrible and unexpected shock.
We found out later that Edie had only had one vaccination. We don’t know why. She wasn’t anti- vaccine or one of those folk who believed in covid conspiracy theories. She was just too busy living her life to get around to it. She had some other health issues and was a heavy smoker, but had it not been for this cruel virus I have no doubt that this funny, vibrant and caring woman would still be with us.
For all the talk that the omicron variant is less serious, my sister in law’s tragic death is a lesson that it is imperative that you should get both your vaccines and your booster. Wear a face covering, practice social distancing, wash your hands. Make getting your vaccines your priority. It makes no difference what else you might think is important, you won’t be able to do anything about it if you’re dead.
Please, this virus isn’t messing about, it doesn’t care about your “freedom ” to wander about Morrisons without a mask on, it doesn’t care about your beliefs in “positive energies” or “natural healing”. You have every right to your beliefs, but you don’t have the right to risk the lives of immuno-compromised people or people with underlying health conditions because you feel your “right” to wander about the supermarket unencumbered by a piece of cloth across your face is more important than other people’s right to life. That doesn’t make you an edgy champion of freedom, it just makes you a selfish git.
Don’t be so arrogant as to imagine that you know more than doctors, virologists and public health experts because you have “done your own research” which consists of reading posts on a Facebook page. Just get your vaccines,and wear a mask in indoor public spaces. The thing about “doing your own research” is that you need to have a fundamental grounding in the basics of a topic in order to be able to distinguish between the plausible and the batshit crazy. Experts are experts for a reason, because they have studied, because they have the knowledge. Listen to the real experts, the doctors, the immunologists, the virologists, the professors of public health, they are the ones who know what they are talking about, not the Neil Olivers and the conspiracy theorists of social media.
There isn’t going to be a funeral just now, because of covid running rampant and the risks of infection my husband’s family have decided to wait a few months, there will be a private cremation and sometime in late summer they will have a memorial service which I hope to be well enough to attend. We learned today that my mother in law has now tested positive for covid. She is double vaccinated and is currently only experiencing mild symptoms, but to say that we are worried is an understatement.
Then today we see on the news yet more allegations that Boris Johnson has casually ignored the covid restrictions which his government has imposed on the rest of us by attending a garden party for 100 Downing Street staff at a time when the rest of us were barred from meeting with more than one other person.
Despite repeatedly telling Parliament that he broke no restrictions it seems clear that that is exactly what he did. There is to be an investigation, which just seems like another attempt by this pathetic mattress fire of the vanities to evade accountability, no doubt hoping he can buy time and will in due course be “cleared” by whichever sycophantic pal of his it is that is doing the “investigating” this time. Yet there is really nothing to investigate. Was he at this party or not? You don’t need a lengthy investigation to establish that simple fact. If he was there he was in breach of his own lockdown rules and he lied to Parliament. He doesn’t just need to go, If there is any justice he needs to face a court of law. Johnson has made a mockery of the sacrifices the rest of us have had to endure, and pissed all over the grief of those of us who have lost loved ones to this terrible disease.
Johnson is not responsible for the terrible loss of my sister in law, a loss we are still struggling to comprehend, but the callous indifference and chaotic incompetence of him and his government is responsible for the fact that 150,000 families across the UK are grieving like we are grieving just now. My contempt for this entitled bag of selfish hypocrisy knows no bounds.
But there is no justice in this Tory Britain where there is one law for the rich and powerful and another for the rest of us.
Sleep peacefully Edie, you will never be forgotten.
I have a physiotherapy appointment tomorrow so won’t be blogging. I will be taking the next few days to give my husband the love and support he needs at this dreadful time. I will be back on Monday.
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