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Cruelty & Callousness

Examining the devastating fallout of forbidding families from visiting loved ones in hospital during the Covid-19 ‘Pandemic’.

Written: April 2021

In the early hours of 26th May 2020, 9 weeks into the first ‘lockdown’, my 92-year-old grandmother had a fall while trying to get to the bathroom from her bedroom, splitting open her head. She managed, somehow, to get herself into the bathroom, but was unable to get herself up from the floor, where she was found several hours later by her Son, my dad. Obviously distressed, without dignity, and injured, she was taken to hospital by ambulance, and was admitted through A&E, enduring hours of invasive tests, including blood tests and an ECG scan. With current ‘Covid’ restrictions in place, no relatives were allowed in with her, so she had to experience all of this while frightened and alone, entirely surrounded by strangers. At the end of this gruelling day, she was, unbelievably, deemed ‘medically well’, and was returned home to her flat, into the care of my parents, who are themselves both in their 70s, my mother having suffered a ‘mini-stroke’ just 6 weeks previously.

My parents continued to visit her several times each day, but on the third day after her first hospital visit, they entered my grandmother’s flat and found her in bed, unable even to sit up, aided, or unaided, in terrible pain, and telling them that she wanted to die. An ambulance was called again, and, after some persuasion by my parents and the paramedics, she was admitted yet again to hospital, having to endure A&E processing for the second time in three days, again alone, again frightened, in pain, and exhausted. Unbelievably, it took several phone calls from us to convince hospital doctors and nurses that she was unfit to return home, so keen were they to shunt patients back out the door, and not admit them into the hospital. They finally found a bed on a ward around 9pm, by which time I can only imagine how utterly exhausted she must have been.

My grandmother was to spend the next four weeks in hospital, and, in accordance with the restrictions imposed because of the so-called Covid-19 Pandemic, she was unable to be visited by her family, she was still in pain, and all the while still perfectly lucid, with the knowledge that she was all alone except for hospital staff, and probably at the end of her life. With none of her family able to visit, we only realised after several days that the staff on the ward were continually referring to her as ‘Francis’, a name she has not lived by since she was a small child, instead for the last 80 or so years she was ‘Joan’ to all who knew her. This can only have made the isolation from familiarity more acute. When I asked one of the nurses on the ward if she could please make a note to call her ‘Joan’, she responded with curiosity, but said that she would. The next few weeks, I telephoned the hospital two, sometimes three times a day, accumulating hours of time ‘on hold’, and when I did manage to get put through to the ward and enquire as to my nan’s condition, I was told cold facts of heartrates and blood pressure measurements, milligrams of drugs and oxygen. I was met with what sounded like amazement when I asked if she was comfortable or distressed, or whether her mood was low or upbeat – why on earth would we want to know that kind of information? After all, she was just an old lady close to death, so felt the sentiment towards us. As the weeks passed, my dad was allowed the briefest of visits to his mother’s bedside, masked, gloved, and gowned, the bare minimum of comfort for both him and my grandmother, I’m sure.

On 24th June, my grandmother was transferred to a care home, and we were all aware that she would not be with us for much longer. She had become even frailer, and tired of life, and was ready to let go. On 26th June, she died. My dad, her son, was able to see her shortly before her death, along with my mum, again briefly, as she was classed by then as at ‘end of life’. However, even then, with my grandmother so close to the end, my parents were obliged to wear mask, apron and plastic gloves – she died without the comfort of feeling her only son’s hand, skin to skin, for the last time.

Then, with the unending barrage of ‘Covid19’ restrictions being thrusted at us, our attentions were turned to ‘arrangements’, but what to do? Funerals in this time had been turned into cold, steely affairs, limited to horribly small numbers, and diktats forbidding the hugging and comforting of loved ones. With these limitations in our minds, we made the decision for my grandmother to be cremated privately, and not to hold a funeral.

After this distressing time, we were all left with the baffling question of why? How had it come to this? I have no wish to indict the NHS, nor the care my grandmother received. We knew she was at the end of her life, and the fall which led to her first trip to A&E was the final chapter. She had been deteriorating for months, and, difficult as it is to accept, she was ready to die, and we as a family in no way ‘blame’ the NHS for her death. This is, however, an indictment of the cruel, unnecessarily draconian measures which have been imposed since 23rd March, and which have turned hospitals into secret dens, where patients are treated like ‘inmates’, and relatives are left gasping for knowledge of their incarcerated loved-ones. To die alone is one of the biggest fears amongst human beings, and now we are routinely forcing this upon thousands of elderly people, denied in their last days and hours the comfort of their hand being held by a loving husband or wife, daughter, or son. It is hard to think of anything crueller being imposed upon a person, yet here we are, hostages to the callousness of a system following rules set by dictators, who seem hell-bent on destroying any compassion within our society.

My nan was not the easiest person in the world – I’m not for one minute putting on rose-tinted glasses. But she was to us a mum, a mother-in-law, a nan, a great-nan, and like every human being, she deserved dignity and respect at the end of her life, and the comfort of having her family close. But she was denied this, as were many, many others who have suffered similar ends, under the dubious banner of Covid ‘restrictions’. What has been allowed to happen to elderly people in the name of this so-called pandemic is nothing short of criminal. Many of this age group will not have much time left, and I’m sure, would prefer to spend their last precious months enjoying life, with their family, hugging, talking, laughing; not alone, in desperation, loneliness, and fear.

Fast forward a few months, and we headed into Christmas, the first without my grandmother, and unbelievably, the country was still crippled by restrictions and measures. We were as a nation told we would be ‘allowed’ to see our families for a Merry Christmas. It is indicative of just how submissive and obedient so many had become after all the months of manipulation, that most whooped and celebrated this news, as if it were up to Boris & Co. to allow such a basic human right as seeing one’s own family! To really keep the pressure on, we were again bombarded with the latest in Government propaganda, ludicrous rules about having a ‘safe’ Christmas day, about ‘protecting our elderly’, and even the diabolical words of Professor Scally, apparently an expert, who warned us of the danger of daring to have a ‘merry Christmas’, threatening that this would result in our ‘burying friends and relations in January’. How disgusting these words were, in their hyperbole, spoken by the Professor, and perpetuated by the media, in a sickening effort to keep us cowed into submission of their demonic control. And after all this, just days before our permitted merry Christmas, the plug was pulled, and we were told that, after all, we wouldn’t be allowed to see each other. Christmas cancelled. Bah humbug. It is difficult to imagine a better example of psychological coercive control.

And here we are, one year on from the start of this nightmare. The constant diet of fear-mongering has left many incapable of thinking for themselves, and of realising they are being manipulated – PLEASE – WAKE UP! The numbers - official numbers, ONS numbers, government numbers - prove that this is not a pandemic. You won’t hear this on the BBC, or read it in the Guardian, but if you do your own research, you will find that what I say is the truth. This is not, and has never been, about a virus. For generations we have used our own common sense when it comes to meeting and socialising, and the risks we take in passing our ‘germs’ on to others. Common sense dictates that a young, otherwise healthy person generally doesn’t go visiting their granny if they have a streaming cold or flu, it’s not necessary for legislation to be put in place for such situations. We are sovereign human beings, free to make our choices, and assess our own risks. We do not, under any circumstances, need our Government to dictate by statute every waking moment of our lives. The nightmare that has engulfed our lives this past year can only be about control and power, and the sooner the sleeping, obedient masses wake up to this the better. Your government does not, and has never, cared about your health. If they did, they would promote healthy living, exercise, plenty of fresh air, and good mental health by visiting family and friends! Instead, they are commanding you to do the exact opposite. Wake up.

"Totalitarian rule becomes truly total the moment it closes the iron vice of terror on its subjects' private social lives, and it never fails to boast of this achievement" - Hannah Arendt, Political Theorist, 1906-1975.

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