87-year-old Jean Howes passed away from coronavirus despite being careful and only leaving her home for an hour once a week to pick up some groceries from a local supermarket.
Her heartbroken son, 58-year-old Jeff Howes, has begged people to stay at home and follow social distancing rules as many shoppers were photographed squeezing together at stores, ignoring the government’s advice which state people should stay 6ft apart.
“It is just madness that people are still going out in groups or having barbecues and carrying on with normal life,” heartbroken Jeff wrote. “We were probably the same as everybody else thinking, this is a horrible thing but it won’t affect us.
“If you are thinking like that, it can happen to you and when it does, it hits hard. I think there needs to be more of a clampdown and do what other countries have done them. I don’t know how they would police it. It’s difficult but it just needs to be stricter.”
The father-of-two added: “She would go out literally once a week for about an hour. She knew she was in the higher risk category so she was careful.
“I’d take her shopping just to the local Asda. She was independent but she stayed indoors as much as she could. I would drop her there, I wouldn’t go around with her, she would do her shopping and I would do my shopping and meet her at the tills to take her home again.
“Mum was a good age, but she still had her independence until the end. The last time I took her shopping was a week last Sunday. She had a little bit of a cold. I said, ‘do you want me to do your shopping for you?’ But she wanted to go herself.
“Unfortunately, as the week went on, the symptoms got worse. It progressed quite slowly to start with, more or less just a cold. I was checking up on her obviously.
“She didn’t seem to have the typical issues associated with the virus. She wasn’t coughing, she thought her temperature was okay.”
He continued: “It got a little bit worse during the week. You expect a cold to start off slow and then get a little bit worse but it didn’t seem to be getting better. It wasn’t until last Friday that things took a turn for the worst and Jean’s symptoms escalated so much that she couldn’t get out of bed.
“I went round at about 1.30 pm and all the curtains were shut. Obviously, that was a worrying sign. I could see that she was not very well.
“I called an ambulance, but even then, as far as I can see, she still wasn’t showing the symptoms of the virus. She got that she started coughing a bit more, which rang alarm bells with me.
“Once they arrived they found she had a raging temperature, but even the crew thought it may have been a chest infection which would have given a high temperature anyway.
“Unfortunately, it turned out that she did have the virus. They took her into Coventry University Hospital. She then very quickly went downhill and died on Monday afternoon.”
Heartbroken Jeff continued: “We were told we couldn’t go and see her which is obviously the worst thing when a loved one is taken into hospital, that you can’t go with them. I was just pacing up and down all day, wondering what’s going on.
“You don’t want to keep phoning them because, especially at certain times, as it’s so busy there at the moment.
“At the end we were allowed to see her if we wore full protective suits which we did. It was heartbreaking.
“I wouldn’t want anyone to go through what we have gone through and that’s why I’m begging people to stay at home and obey the rules on social distancing.”
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