Worksop man reflects on handling of pandemic a year after his grandmother died after being struck down with Covid days before she was to receive vaccine

The grandson of a Worksop woman who was struck down with Covid just days before she was due to receive the vaccine has been left “bewildered” by the Government’s response to the pandemic a year after her death.

Monday, 31st January 2022, 2:44 pm

There are a few errors where it says " the NHS and scientists " and where it says " a large part of the population are becoming immune" and

Ann Newton, 82, passed away “peacefully” at Bassetlaw Hospital on January 20 last year - five days after being rushed in for emergency treatment.

The mother-of-two had been due to receive the vaccine on January 13 - however she tested positive with the virus two days before.

Nicholas Willis with beloved grandmother Ann Newton in 2018.

Devastated Nicholas Willis said he still believes Ann should have been vaccinated and “if there hadn't of been such disparity in December 2020 and January 2021 she may have stood more of a fighting chance against Covid.”

He said he still misses Ann, who survived dementia for 11 years, “very much” and believes, in hindsight, that there should have been therapeutic treatment offered for Covid patients at care homes and in hospitals.

Nicholas said although he believes the Prime Minister has made the right decision to begin the lifting of restrictions, he is “still bewildered by the government response to the pandemic.”

He added: “Thankfully it now seems that we are coming towards an endgame for the pandemic and, thanks to the work of our amazing NHS and scientists who produced the various vaccines, a large number of the population are becoming immune to the virus.

Nicholas Willis with grandmother Ann Newton

“Unfortunately I cannot shower such praise upon our politicians and the government, who are becoming mired in more and more scandals with lock down busting parties and rule breaking shenanigans.”

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He feels more must now be done to reach out to those people who have yet to receive the vaccine and understands the concerns and frustrations of those skeptical of lockdowns and mandatory vaccinations.

He said: "It is easy to be stuck in an echo chamber with those who same the same views, but it is much more difficult and braver to reach out to those with widely differing opinions, and I feel this is what we must do in order to get the vaccines out to those who are hesitant about its effects, and prove to them that it is safe and effective and will help to keep the virus at bay.”

Since Ann’s death, Nicholas has done lots to commemorate her and is calling on others who have lost friends or loved ones to join the inquiry into the handling of the pandemic, either by joining Covid Bereaved Families for Justice or following Ellis Tustin, who set up Names Not Numbers, on social media.

He said both have been “invaluable sources of support for people” impacted by Covid bereavements.

Nicholas added: “A year on and I am mostly at peace with losing my gran and I have done much to commemorate her including tributes through the the Forest of Memories, Names Not Numbers, St Paul's Cathedral, the Covid wall in London and the Alzheimer's Society.

"I feel that the situation myself and my family went through was unfortunately not unique during the last two years.

“I really hope that we can remember the people lost to Covid in Bassetlaw as well as the country and learn lessons from this terrible period.”