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“Dad, you’re going to have to be stronger than you’ve ever been, there’s a horrible disease,” Jane Roche whispered into her father’s ear as an ambulance whisked him away.
Vincent Pettitt’s facial hair was foreign to his daughter as she touched it against her cheek. Due to the government’s implementation of a Covid lockdown in March 2020, she had not been able to visit her father’s care facility for two weeks to help him groom.
Unfortunately, Mr. Pettitt, aged 86, had contracted Covid-19 and passed away in a hospital room that was crowded. His daughter, Jocelyn Pettitt, aged 54, also succumbed to the virus a few days later, while alone, six weeks before her grandson was born.
According to the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice, Mr. Pettitt was among the 231,332 individuals who lost their lives due to the coronavirus. Approximately 30,000 of these fatalities occurred in care homes as the virus spread rapidly among patients. Staff members reported a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and received conflicting guidance on whether individuals entering care homes should be tested for the virus.
This week, Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s previous chief scientific adviser, provided explosive evidence to the Covid inquiry. It was revealed that Boris Johnson was fixated on having older individuals accept their fate and allowing the younger population to continue with their lives in order to boost the economy. The former prime minister believed this was a natural way of handling the elderly population.
According to Simon Stevens, the previous leader of the National Health Service, the former health secretary Matt Hancock desired to make personal decisions about “who should survive and who should perish” in the event that hospitals were unable to handle the peak of the pandemic.
Relatives of the deceased have criticized their remarks as a “shameful” and stated that they are offensive to their loved ones.
Ms Roche, 53, an operations manager said: “What Boris Johnson has said about old people, I take that personally. He didn’t protect my dad, they have so much to pay for. I think the government that made these decisions needs to be punished, thousands of people lost their lives.”
Ms Roche expressed that the deaths of the individuals would have a lasting impact on them and that they were taken away from them.
“My dad had so much life left in him, his zest for life was amazing. My sister was lovely and stunningly beautiful. It’s unimaginable, not being there for her, everybody should have beautiful end-of-life journeys.”
Following the passing of her father in the hospital on Saturday, April 4th, 2020, Ms. Roche received a text from her sister’s partner, John Elmore, age 50. The message informed her that her sister, Jocelyn Pettitt, had become unresponsive a few days after developing a cough. On Monday, April 6th, she received confirmation that her sister had tested positive for Covid.
She stated that she was unable to visit her due to social distancing measures, and that her partner accompanied her to the hospital. At noon, her niece called her in a state of distress, saying “Mom won’t survive.”
“We each took turns going up to see her, but she had been transferred to a different ward and visitors were not permitted.”
Jocelyn, who followed the lockdown regulations, passed away by herself just five days after her father. She left behind her pregnant daughter, Katie Osborne, who is 26 years old, her son Sam Byron, who is 34 years old, her partner John Elmore, who is 50 years old, and two grandchildren.
Rex Williams, the father of Charlie Williams from Coventry, passed away at the age of 85 in a care facility after contracting Covid in April 2020. He was alone at the time of his death.
55-year-old Mr. Williams, who works as a community advisor, remembers that the care facility did not have any personal protective equipment or testing capabilities. He had to advocate for his father to be tested after his passing.
In response to the revelations from the Covid inquiry, Mr. Williams stated that it was a complete disaster. He believed that module one was already terrible, but module two was even worse and completely unacceptable. He described it as a traumatic and disgraceful situation.
Boris Johnson showed no concern for the most vulnerable in our country, prioritizing his own career over their lives.
Mr. Williams remembered the sorrow of his well-attended father’s funeral, which he and only seven others were able to attend.
Even now, I am unsure how to describe it. It was not a burial or a farewell. We still cannot give him a proper send-off.
He is advocating for a legal inquiry into how ministers have managed the pandemic.
Pamela Staples, a 56-year-old resident of Hampshire, also experienced the loss of her 91-year-old father, Roy, to Covid in April 2020. At the time, there was a surge of hospital patients with the virus being admitted to his care home.
Ms. Staples used to visit her father daily until visits were discontinued on March 10th. In just three weeks, the virus spread rapidly through the home and her father passed away on April 8th, without any family members present.
In response to the recent revelations, she expressed her disgust, stating that it was not unexpected and only further highlights the incompetence of the situation. She also noted the lack of integrity displayed by those involved.
It was simply logical, if individuals are released from hospitals and transferred to nursing homes without being tested, they will spread infection to others.
The public is treated as if they lack intelligence. We desire an investigation to prevent others from experiencing what we went through.
The devastated daughter spoke of her father, stating: “He exemplified all the qualities of a model citizen in this country. He generously donated to charity, fulfilled his tax obligations, and was a diligent worker.”
“My dad had more integrity in his little finger than Matt Hancock and Boris Johnson have in their whole bodies.”
Ms. Staples is furious that, even though they are no longer in government roles, the discredited politicians are still receiving attention in the media. Mr. Johnson now has a new program on GB News, and Mr. Hancock has been paid large amounts of money to appear on television shows such as I’m a Celebrity and SAS: Who Dares Wins?
She asked, “Why are these people who committed heinous acts, such as allowing elderly individuals to die, still being featured on our screens?”
Ms Staples said she and her family have been unable to grieve and get closure for their father’s death, unlike when they lost their mother Jessie in 2005. She said her father’s corpse was unrecognisable as he had been left in a body bag for days.
“My father’s funeral was limited to 20 minutes and only four of us were able to attend due to my older brother’s need to shield from the virus.”
During our time of need, we followed protocol and were unable to visit the funeral home.
“We were not allowed to approach the coffin or be in close proximity to one another; we were directed out like a flock of sheep. We had to return to our individual homes without even being able to embrace.”
Ms. Staples expressed her disappointment and disapproval of the parties that took place at Downing Street during lockdown, despite the rules and the harm they caused. She believes that those responsible should feel ashamed of their actions.