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Tragic Deaths Man who lost brother and sister-in-law to Covid says it's 'too soon' to reopen country

Tom Somerville spoke on Liveline shared the story of his brother Patrick and his sister-in-law Esther, who both died of Covid-19.

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Patrick and Elsie Somerville

Patrick and Elsie Somerville

Patrick and Elsie Somerville

A man who lost his brother and sister-in-law to Covid has said that it’s “too soon” to reopen the country on October 22nd.

Tom Somerville contacted Joe Duffy on Liveline today to share the story of his brother Patrick and his sister-in-law Esther, who both died of Covid-19.

Patrick and Esther, nicknamed Elsie, passed away within a week of each other in January 2021.

Speaking on air, the bereaved man explained: “It was very quick. Elsie contracted it first and she was taken to Tallaght Hospital and within a couple of days my brother was taken to Blanchardstown Hospital.

“Elsie had Alzheimer's and she more or less got through the Covid stage but her lungs, her whole system had been badly damaged.

“Within about 3 days, my brother took a turn for the worst and died within another 2 or 3 days.”

Tom said that the last time he spoke to his brother was on Christmas morning.

“He was fine but he was very upset because he knew then that Elsie had gone into hospital and she had Covid,” he said.

“He said to me that if anything happened to her that he wouldn’t be long behind her. As it turned out, he died before her.”

When Patrick contracted Covid, he was unable to speak as he needed to wear an oxygen mask.

“He had this oxygen mask on his head and he was gasping for breath. It was a terrible time. He kept trying to pull the mask off and get out of the bed. He wanted to see Elsie, he said he’d be okay.

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“It just suddenly got so bad that he died.”

Tom believes that it’s “too soon to reopen” the country as planned on October 22nd because “people have let their guard down.”

“I think people have let their guard down now. You can see it in the shops when people are passing in front of you with no mask on or the masks are down underneath the nose.

“I think because they haven’t reported the daily cases, it hasn’t helped. They haven’t heard that people are dying anymore so they think it’s okay.

“The problem is if the unvaccinated go in [to pubs], they pass it on to somebody else. This isn’t going to go away until everybody is vaccinated.

“I don’t think they should be able to open up and get back to that level of normality yet,” he added.

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