Bridgette Saliba, the niece of an elderly man who died from COVID-19 related complications, spoke up about the harsh reality of losing a loved one to the virus.
Throughout the past weeks, Malta’s elderly have been facing rising levels of COVID-19 related deaths – and as such tragedies become more and more frequent, the general public can’t help but become desensitised.
But as the announcement of a new COVID-19 related death becomes a quasi-daily occurrence, Saliba took to Facebook to remind readers of the harsh reality that hides behind these statistics.
“My uncle was buried yesterday. For him there was no funeral mass, no smartly-dressed congregation standing up while his coffin is carried towards the altar, no organ playing, no singing of the Ave Maria,” Saliba wrote.
“Instead, he had a quick burial before 24 hours elapsed, with just four members of his large family in attendance.”
Lovin Malta had previously spoken to relatives of COVID-19 victims and the sheer stress caused by the hospital’s precautionary measures has been consistently highlighted.
This woman, for example, couldn’t even identify her grandmother’s body, due to the fact that it was sealed up in plastic film.
“His widow is locked up in her room in a care home, not even knowing her husband of more than 60 years has passed away,” Saliba continued.
“Her children cannot visit to tell her the news quietly and kindly, and to be there to comfort her.”
Malta’s health authorities have recently come under fire for allowing so many members of the island’s elderly community to fall victim to the virus.
The Kamra Tal-Ispiżjara Ta’ Malta had flagged this spike in deaths a few weeks ago, citing it as a clear institutional failure and “a serious indictment of how government and other have and are not protecting the most vulnerable of our society.”
“So please whenever you hear of another elderly person dying of COVID-19, don’t just consider it as a statistics – remember the loss of a life and the heartbreak of his or her family,” Saliba concluded.
“Please stay safe for yourself and for others.”