Shropshire Star comments: Coronavirus deniers must wake up

How lucky those people who think it’s all a hoax must be.

Foreign passengers wearing protective suits line up for their flight to China at Manila's International Airport, Philippines
Foreign passengers wearing protective suits line up for their flight to China at Manila's International Airport, Philippines

Presumably they cannot have caught Covid-19 themselves. They must have been spared too the anguish and worry of having a relative or friend catching coronavirus.

And they cannot know anybody in the front line who would have told them about the heartrending life and death reality of what is happening in hospitals.

They will not have seen the ambulances queuing outside hospitals, nor the patients struggling in intensive care. For those fortunate ones who don’t see, and have the luxury of being able to choose not to believe, maybe they can convince themselves that the pandemic is an exaggeration, or a conspiracy of some sort.

In our pages today we bring you pictures and accounts from which you can judge for yourself what is really happening. The winter surge in cases has left staff in hospitals exhausted. Mentally and physically, they are being drained, and yet they still toil tirelessly to save people.

A cruel element to the pandemic is that the victims are cut off from their loved ones, and those who are dying are denied the opportunity to say a proper farewell to families gathered at the bedside.

If they get a chance at all, it is a remote, online, goodbye. The pressure is massive. This is the peak of the crisis – at least we must hope that, although the indications give a degree of cautious confidence that from next month things will improve.

Failure, as they say, is not an option, so despite the fatigue, those heroes on the front line have no choice but to tough it out for these, the hardest weeks.

The hardest weeks will be followed by many hard weeks. Any let-up will only be in a relative sense. Then when it’s all over, it won’t be over, as there will be all those delayed cases to catch up on. The challenge is medical, practical, and organisational.

Never has our National Health Service faced a test like this. And what the crisis has underlined is that NHS benefits from a precious asset – the devoted staff who work within it.

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