Just another statistic?

We hear the numbers of Covid infections and deaths daily and are rightly appalled. We listen to government platitudes and want to believe things will get better. We watch the disgraceful selfishness of those who continue to flout the rules and cry ‘shame’. We see what needs to be done, the full lockdowns much earlier and longer than has been the case, the stupidity of allowing Christmas, the insanity of letting students attend univeristy and of opening pubs and restaurants.

I know people are suffering financial hardship from which it will take years to recover and that our children need to learn and to socialise, and we’re all fed up with having our freedoms limited, but it isn’t until Covid touches you personally that you fully understand the devastating consequenses of a lack of personal responsibility and the lack of government action to save lives, because the economy is more important, and they are too afraid of properly punishing law-breakers. It is probable that the economy and education will suffer more from lack of action than it would have done by tougher action earlier on.

On Saturday, I lost my daughter-in-law to Covid. She leaves a husband, four daughters, the youngest only ten, and a mother who has already lost her other daughter to cancer – they are heartbroken. For them, the loss of a mother, wife, and daughter has changed their lives irrevocably. This isn’t something they’ll ever recover from, not entirely. There are thousands of families for whom this grief is the brutal reality of Covid – the reality of the results of putting wealth before lives; the result of the selfish and careless not following the rules or even believing Covid exists.

My daughter-in-law worked in banking, one of the faceless women who kept this precious economy working, and she sacrificed her life to do it. She was the breadwinner of the family.

So when the statistics are read out today, one of those will be Sarah, a young mother who loved her family and was loved by them and has left a gaping hole that will never be filled. She has a name. She is not just a statistic.

Please, follow the rules – keep your distance, wear a mask, wash your hands, and stay safe.

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