Survivors of Covid-19 who have needed Intensive Care treatment have reported feeling as though they were drowning, suffocating slowly, unable to fill their lungs with air. We all saw the footage from Italy of people gasping for breath in hospitals that had run out of ICU beds – shocking, heart wrenching scenes. But imagine getting to that point and being left to drown alone? No medical assistance, no oxygen. Nothing.
Matt Hancock said that everybody who has needed medical care has been able to access treatment and that the NHS has not been overwhelmed like we saw in the Lombardy hospitals a few weeks back. What he didn’t say was that the elderly in Care Homes across the UK have not only not received any medical care, they have been abandoned altogether, along with the people who care for them.
They have been air-brushed out of the picture entirely, swept under the rug and out to sea…
A spokesperson for one hospital in the North of England said:
“There is no blanket policy to deny hospital admission to care and nursing home residents. This was reiterated by the Secretary of State for Health at the Government’s latest press conference. People with suspected Covid-19 are being managed in accordance with national guidelines irrespective of where they live”.
One Care Home manager from Liverpool said SIXTEEN residents in one home have died. She reported only being prescribed anti-biotics and paracetamol to help them…
I am not suggesting these patients would have survived had they been taken to hospital or that the end result would have been different, I’m not suggesting they would have ticked the boxes of those that would survive being put on a ventilator. But to leave them with no medical assistance whatsoever?
They aren’t dying peaceful deaths in their sleep.
They are drowning.
***Edit*** Since I wrote this post in the middle of April we’ve not really heard much from the government about the situation in Care Homes right now – questions are evaded and the horror is kept under cover. This article in the Guardian yesterday (May 6th) is probably one of the most disturbing things I have ever read:
Has there ever been a clearer example of Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
Me, me, me. ME!!!
Every day spent watching him deal with this crisis is a strange mixture of comedy, disbelief and confusion. And horror. So much horror…
A textbook example of a Malignant Narcissist, today he went ahead and cancelled funding for The World Health Organisation, putting the blame entirely at their door for America’s Coronavirus outbreak. Classic blame-shifting to draw attention away from his lack of action and his refusal to accept any accountability.
Never mind all the times he insisted Coronavirus wouldn’t be a problem. Never mind that everyone saw and heard him downplaying the threat weeks ago – it doesn’t matter. The truth doesn’t matter for pathological people, they can create their own false narrative whereby they don’t have to own or admit to anything. Even when thousands of people are dying. Especially when thousands of people are dying…
The Guardian have called it an act of International Vandalism:
The virus is scary. But not nearly as scary as the angry toddler trapped in the body and mind of The President.
‘Help, let us out…’ – Charlie (8).
We are stuck in a nightmare we can’t wake up from. Worst-case scenarios occasionally play on repeat, hijacking my Keep-calm-and-carry-on thoughts, screeching up out of nowhere to take over for a while. There are minor worries about how to get supplies whilst shielding a child who is vulnerable, there are worries about the toll it’s taking on his emotional well-being (he hasn’t seen another child in over 5 weeks) and then there are the can’t-catch-my-breath worries that threaten to overwhelm me completely…
Do I write a letter, just in case? Something he will have if the worst does happen, words he can keep hold of that would remind him years down the line how loved he was? Or do I calm down, take a deep breath and carry on as we are, taking each day as it comes, trying not to succumb to the fear of ‘what if’s’ and unknowns? This isn’t really about over-reacting or being hysterical; people are getting sick and if they deteriorate there is no time for letters, no time to contemplate some final words. People are here and then they are gone.
For the last few days we’ve had the most perfect clear-blue skies and for a short while everything feels great, normal even. Then there is the sickening, stomach-lurching tumble back to reality. There is no blocking it out, this microscopic horror show has tentacles holding onto every part of what we once had. Life has been swallowed up and consumed by the virus, if it’s not swallowing up individual lives it’s swallowing up what made life ‘life’, the things we do that bring us joy, contact with the people we love, being able to plan for the future, places to visit…
It’s swallowed up our illusions we had about any kind of certainty, that life can be controlled in some way. We’ve never really had any control, we’ve just had the idea that save for some accident or stroke of bad luck we’ll live our life, grow old and then eventually die, hopefully in our sleep. Now we are all confronted by our own mortality in the most brutal of ways; with a long illness there is time to prepare, time to wind a life down, make amends, forgive, and any other thing that may need closure or attention of some sort, this virus doesn’t seem to allow for that.
The UK will soon be Italy, that is beyond doubt. We will most likely overtake Italy in terms of our daily death tolls – they have more ventilators, more beds and their health care system is in a much better shape to be able to cope with something of this magnitude than the under-funded, already-on-it’s-knees National Health Service.
Panicked NHS Doctors have appeared on the news, eyes wide with fear because they were stretched to the absolute limit before Covid-19. Boris Johnson said yesterday they are in talks with manufacturers to get desperately needed ventilators built as a matter of urgency, I don’t know much about ventilators but it’s obvious they aren’t the sort of thing that can be designed, built and rolled out ready-for-action overnight.
Italian Doctors are having to decide who has a chance of surviving and who doesn’t. There have been interviews with Doctors in Lombardy who repeatedly warn other countries against making the same mistakes as they did. To Lockdown now, not in a few weeks time. NOW. Why aren’t our leaders listening?
The UK government have been criticised for not following The WHO’s advice on testing, we are currently only testing people who are requiring treatment in hospital. And we are out on a limb in general when it comes to how we are responding to the crisis – our government allowed more than 200,000 people to mix at the Cheltenham Races while the countries already badly affected looked on in horror and disbelief.
If a person tests positive for Covid-19 the advice is to trace every other person he or she has come into contact with. How do you do that if a person has potentially been in contact with thousands of other people?
Most countries are closing schools while here they remain open. Even vulnerable children with underlying health conditions are still being told to attend school which seems nonsensical; if we are only two weeks behind Italy surely we should be easing the amount of pressure on the NHS as much as possible and as soon as possible? There are thousands of asthmatic children who require hospital treatment if they pick up viral infections (my son being one of them), if they were isolated now they would be less likely to need hospital beds when this does all eventually explode? There are so many other children who have other health conditions that should surely now be kept out of harms way to give the NHS a fighting chance of coping with all that’s to come?
Countries in Europe that have closed schools so far due to the threat of coronavirus: (from the 14th March).
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Czech Republic
- North Macedonia