Covid-19: The human cost

Once the first death to coronavirus was announced here it was quickly followed by another, then more, then more again.

A slow but steady rise.

Thirteen in the space of just one week and the death toll continues to grow.

Ruth Burke was one of them. Ruth was an 82-year-old at the heart of her family.

She fought many battles in her life with the loss of her son and her husband, but the coronavirus proved a fight too far.

The family of Ruth Burke, 82, say she died in hospital after testing positive for coronavirus. Credit: Family photo

Ruth had been admitted to hospital with other issues, but when this virus hit, it hit her hard.

Her daughter Brenda told me that while she was still allowed to briefly visit her mother in hospital, bringing her a change of clothes, her mum asked why she couldn’t stay a “wee while” longer.

That was the last conversation Brenda had with her mother.

When she was told she would’t survive, a message of love and a last goodbye had to be passed on from daughter to mother.

Brenda shared the raw grief of her family after the death of her mother, posting an emotional message on Facebook, to warn others just how just how real this is.

When I spoke to her what she said was simple, that behind every death lies a human tragedy.

As we go forward in this fight, the death toll will grow.

And so will the number of families left asking why.

Once Ruth Burke caught coronavirus even the best of doctors couldn’t save her.

We will hear many stories similar to that of Ruth Burke in the weeks ahead.

And it’s easy, as the numbers rise, for those stories to blend into one another.

As they do let’s not forget there are other families, just like our own, left picking up the pieces.