Coronavirus Updates

Grief and heartbreak as Covid claims more lives

CAPE TOWN, South Africa – “Covid deaths are no longer a statistic in the news. It’s no longer a number. It’s no longer a name on social media. Society is being decimated as good people are succumbing,” says Ebrahim Patel (not the Minister).

Patel’s statement rings true, after South Africa had its deadliest day since the outbreak of the coronavirus in the country; setting grim new records in terms of both fatalities and new cases.

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize announced on Wednesday night that 844 deaths were recorded along with 21 832 new cases.

As the Covid-19 cases continue to increase, many have taken to social media to relate tales of grief and heartbreak.

“I will never recover from this. I am devastated. My boyfriend and I had so many hopes and dreams. Our life together was happier than ever. I will never recover from losing my soulmate,” said Laurisha Beepath from Pietermaritzburg.

“When I think about my mother and stepdad, all I can think about is the 4-year-old daughter who they leave behind. Our lives will never be the same again. How can they be?” she said. Laurisha lost half of her family to Covid-19 in less than three weeks.

Death announcements and messages of condolences have flooded the feed of Facebook group, Covid…In loving memory. “This group was created for those of us who cannot attend funerals, or get the chance to sympathise with the families of those who passed on from Covid,” say the founders of the group.

Earlier this week, comedian Stuart Taylor’s wife Elisca posted an emotional message on Facebook, saying: “Today we received the devastating news that Stu’s dad passed away this morning. The cornerstone of the Taylor Family, he was a beloved father and doting grandfather. He leaves such a big void and will be missed by many, and deeply by us.”

Meanwhile, Saadiq Kariem, chief of operations at the Western Cape Department of Health, expressed his sadness following the deaths of 20 staff members in the last 20 days.

“These are not just numbers. They were mothers, colleagues, contributors in the community, shoulders-to-cry-on, caregivers and an incredible loss to the people whose lives they touched. We would like to express our heartfelt condolences to their bereaved loved ones, acquaintances and colleagues,” he said.

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