So it was coronavirus that killed her. It wasn’t her “underlying conditions”. Prior to her diagnosis, she hadn’t been in hospital for 18 months – an unusually care-free period for Karina. No, it was a virulent, aggressive and still only partially understood virus that was responsible, a virus that is causing thousands of people, despite the unstinting bravery of the medical staff of this country, to say a distanced goodbye to relatives who would still be alive had they not contracted it.
No one could describe Karina as weak: she did not have it coming, she was no more disposable than anyone else. Her death was not inevitable, does not ease our burden, is not a blessing. She was vulnerable, yes. She needed the care of others to live. I will remain for ever grateful to the hundreds of caregivers who have, at one point or another, looked after her with such kindness and dedication, some of whom have maintained a relationship with her long after their retirement. Grateful too to live in a country that makes provisions of care free to all, no matter one’s need, however stretched and fraying their chronic underfunding increasingly makes them.
But this disease is not just killing people who would have died soon anyway. It is making the lives of those most in need of our care and compassion even harder, even more fearful. And if there is anything that I hope might come from Karina’s death, from the tens of thousands of other deaths caused by this disease and its insidious spread, it is that as a country, from government both national and local, we might make our focus the easing of those lives in the future.
‘Her death was not inevitable, does not ease our burden, is not a blessing.’ Magnificent from Rory Kinnear https://t.co/FNYX0j4JMW
— Madeleine Davies (@MadsDavies) May 12, 2020