Deaths in the family: cluster deaths are another grim reality of ...

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Deaths in the family: cluster deaths are another grim reality of Covid

Family members experiencing multiple deaths are often left without closure and unable to speak about their losses

Senior journalist

As the Covid-19 third wave rips through Gauteng, death and sickness are taking an unimaginable toll that has numerous ripple effects — one of them being cluster deaths.

Many families have endured death multiple times, with the virus taking parents, children and siblings, often in quick succession, as people of all ages and backgrounds succumb to the virus. Survivors are left suffering and unable to grieve because of the coronavirus protocols that are impacting all cultures and faiths.

“Families are being wiped out. It is so sad because people are dying alone — families are saying goodbye to unconscious loved ones on ventilators through video calls. And it is young people. I had a husband in his forties who wrote down his final messages to his wife in a notebook, which he gave to her when they took him to hospital. He told her to read it if he didn’t make it, and today she had to open it,” said undertaker Sonja Smith of the Sonja Smith Funeral Group...

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