Lockdown Diaries III, Day 18: Beds without Patients

My apologies: Lockdown Diaries III went a shameless eleven days without posting about the latest miseries caused by coronavirus. This, (surprisingly!), was not due to the lack of happenings: we’ve now got a Tier 5 introduced now on top of all the other tiers, we cycled through several reopening date for schools until they will now only reopen after February half-term… and so on.

There was also the whole delightful shebang known as Brexit; with or without an agreement, by now I’m not sure which it came out in the end, nor do I care any  more. We can’t do anything and go anywhere anyway. Life has ground to another complete halt and for some more of us, it will never start up again.

Last March, as the coronavirus cases started to rise, we all had to put our lives on hold – to protect the NHS.

As a society, we went through a lot in order to protect the NHS: People lost their jobs, children didn’t go to school, non-urgent¹ medical procedures were postponed, holidays were cancelled, weddings repeatedly rescheduled. We let our loved ones die alone and unvisited in hospitals, care homes and hospices; we let funerals pared down to such brutal basics that they provided absolutely no comfort to the mourners.

But for what? Coronavirus is still rising. We’re no better off than we were last March. We’ve undergone all this s**t for no benefit whatsoever. Except of course – we did protect the NHS.

For whose benefit, I’d like to know?

Because it’s not for the benefit of the dying, who are facing, on a daily basis, the unpalatable choice between receiving palliative care at the cost of never seeing their loved ones again  or struggling with their end-of-life symptoms alone at home, under  palliative remote control.

Which do you prefer, my dear:

      • to have your family around you while you’re still well enough to be able to see their faces, touch their hands, listen to their voices
      • or to have your pain and other horrible symptoms be brought under control so that you suffer less but never see them again?

The crisp, white, empty beds in hospices all over the country bear mute testimony to the answer.  

On top of all the months they have already spent shielding alone in their bedrooms, wistfully gazing out of their windows, the terminally ill do not want to continue to also die alone.

¹ What is a non-urgent medical procedure anyway? Surely, you either need the procedure (in which case it's urgent, so that you can stop suffering and be healed), or you don't need the procedure at all (in which case it should have never been suggested to you in the first place).

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