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‘I don’t want this to happen to your family’ - Author’s plea after father’s death from coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 11:09 13 October 2020 | UPDATED: 11:09 13 October 2020

Norwich author Laura James has urged people to wear masks to stop the spread of coronavirus. Picture: Tim James

Norwich author Laura James has urged people to wear masks to stop the spread of coronavirus. Picture: Tim James

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“I don’t want another family to experience what we have been through. It has been horrific. Wearing a face mask is really not a sacrifice given what other people have had to give up. ”

That is the message from author and journalist Laura James, from Reepham, who, in a tweet which has been liked nearly 19,000 times, urged people to follow coronavirus laws.

During the pandemic, the 51-year-old’s father, David Levene, died alone in hospital from Covid-19 after 10 days of treatment in June.

Her mother, who had been married to Mr Levene for 60 years, was unable to speak to him before his death and has struggled to cope with lockdown.

Ms James said: “When my father went into hospital we thought he was OK. But he never came back home. For 10 days we weren’t able to speak to him or visit him, and then we got the call.

“For my mother, all the support systems she would have leaned on just weren’t there, as they weren’t happening or were cancelled due to coronavirus.

“Her whole world was turned utterly upside down and it was really hard for her.”

When the funeral took place, Ms James, a mother-of-four, said it was a “horrific experience” as she was unable to hug family members.

She said: “It was surreal not being able to hug my mother. It was a really awful feeling. Something inside you shuts down a bit.

“My son stayed at home and watched it on Zoom. That in itself is a very odd experience. I would have never expected there to be such a huge family thing to happen and not be able to be with my children.”

Ms James said she shared her experience on Twitter after growing frustrated with the growing number of conspiracy theorists and covid deniers.

The tweet said: “My father died alone after 10 days in hospital with no visitors. My children had to watch his funeral on Zoom. My mother had a breakdown over living alone in lockdown and yet people whine about wearing masks - aaargh!”

“I wrote it because I don’t want this to happen to you. “ Ms James said, “People who don’t follow the rules will make it worse for their family or for another family. We haven’t been asked to do a lot. And if we all do out bit, we will get out of this faster. Just wear the mask.”


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