Add news
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010June 2010July 2010
August 2010
September 2010October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016July 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017June 2017July 2017August 2017September 2017October 2017November 2017December 2017January 2018February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018August 2018September 2018October 2018November 2018December 2018January 2019February 2019March 2019April 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020September 2020
News Every Day |

Son of ‘fit and healthy’ coronavirus victim says people have ‘given up caring’ about dead

Son of Covid-19 victim says families have been 'left behind'
Neil Hames lost his father Walter to coronavirus in March (Picture: Facebook/Neil Hames)

The son of a grandad who died from coronavirus despite being ‘fit and healthy’ has made an impassioned call for a public inquiry as his family feels ‘left behind’ while the country moves on.

Neil Hames, 49, from Solihull, is now living with a local lockdown as the infection rate where he lives has spiralled. His father Walter – a former Coventry City footballer nicknamed ‘Wally’ – died in March after being admitted to hospital with Covid-19.

Neil was supportive of the Government’s early ‘stay at home’ message but believes it has made a catalogue of errors in its handling of the pandemic since. He said: ‘The Government has made some appalling, shocking decisions and I’ve just been left not knowing what to think, it’s beyond me.’

He said he has found it hard to watch people flouting rules around social distancing and mass gatherings. Solihull, together with Birmingham and Sandwell, is one of the areas where restrictions banning households from mixing have been reintroduced.

Neil believes the public has ‘given up caring’ and wants to urge people to carry on following the rules to protect other people.

He said: ‘At the start people generally adhered to the restrictions, but the vast majority now have either given up caring or simply don’t believe in it anymore.

‘They don’t think the virus is harmful or fatal or they think it only affects people over a certain age. I have watched people shuffle up to each other and say, “I’m alright if you are”, before shaking hands.

‘I have seen people on social media who have been out dancing and embracing others when they should have been in quarantine as they had just arrived from Spain. It’s going to be so much harder for the Government to lock the area down now because many people are out and about living their normal lives.’

Undated handout photo of Walter Hames (left), who died on Sunday after contracting Covid-19, with son Neil and his wife Marina Hames at the end of 2019. PA Photo. Issue date: Wednesday March 25, 2020. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Neil Hames/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Neil with his dad Walkter and mum Marina at the end of 2019 (Picture: PA)

Neil added: ‘The tide has turned with people saying the virus isn’t anything to worry about and it’s like flu. It’s painful to hear.

‘I’m at the stage now where I have to switch off the news and social media, especially the updates about how the virus is harmless or some kind of conspiracy, because it makes me angry.

‘Try saying the virus isn’t anything to worry about to someone like me, who saw its cruelty, or to the families who are campaigning for justice for their loved ones.’

Wally, 75, passed away at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, leaving behind his wife, Marina.

He led an active life and was fit and healthy in the days before his hospital admission, Neil said. The family made repeated 999 calls when Wally’s condition ‘rapidly deteriorated’ and he was only admitted hours before his death.

Try saying the virus isn’t anything to worry about to someone like me, who saw its cruelty

Neil now wants answers from the Government as he fears the same could happen to another family if a second wave hits the UK.

‘All I know is that my family is still in a lot of pain and the majority of people, even some friends, don’t care anymore. We feel left behind and we won’t be able to move on until we get some answers,’ he said.

‘I still need to know why it was that we had to ring 999 four times on four separate occasions, to be told he would be better off at home three times, until he was admitted two hours before he passed.

‘I’ve asked myself “could things have been different?” I need to know what directions were given to the hospital and the ambulance service.

Son of Covid-19 victim says families have been 'left behind'
Neil is calling for a public inquiry before a second wave hits the UK to learn from mistakes made the first time around (Picture: Facebook/Neil Hames)

‘Something doesn’t sit right and I don’t have any confidence in the Government’s ability to handle a second wave.

‘There has to be an inquiry because we can’t ever afford to have another situation like the one we had at the peak of this crisis.’

A campaign group called Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice is calling for an independent, judge-led, statutory public inquiry into coronavirus deaths, which it wants to begin imminently.

Last week, Metro.co.uk reported how Fiona Kirton, who also lost her father Bernard Kirton to Covid-19, is campaigning for the review in his memory.

Boris Johnson appeared to commit to this in July, but has refused to be pinned down over the timescale, saying only that there will be one ‘in the future’ so lessons can be learned.

A Government spokesman said: ‘This has been an unprecedented global outbreak and the Government has acted to protect lives, incomes and the most vulnerable in our society.

‘As the Prime Minister has said, in the future there will be an opportunity for us to look back, to reflect and to learn some profound lessons. But at the moment, the most important thing to do is to focus on responding to the current situation and that’s exactly what we’re doing.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check our news page.



Read also

Choir practice in Spain infects 30 of 41 members with coronavirus

Trump Is Waging War on the VA's Union, and Workers Are Living in Fear - The biggest public sector union contract in the country could be a disaster without political intervention

Amazon's redesigned Echo and Echo Dot are now available for preorder — here's how to buy the new smart speakers



News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on Today24.pro




Today24.pro — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here