No-one immune to scourge of Covid-19

Friends and colleagues of Livingstone Hospital nursing sister Merle Jacobs, who died after contracting Covid-19, have told of their love for her
BRIGHT LIGHT: Friends and colleagues of Livingstone Hospital nursing sister Merle Jacobs, who died after contracting Covid-19, have told of their love for her
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“For many of us, what was once a distant disease is now coming much closer,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Wednesday night, addressing the country.

“More and more of us now know someone who is infected, whether at work or school or in our church, mosque, temple or synagogue.

“It may be one of our friends or a member of our family.”

And, indeed, Covid-19 is coming closer with each passing day and soon every one of us will personally know someone infected with the disease, utterly debilitating in some cases, or, possibly, be infected ourselves.

From being an outbreak initially only affecting people in faraway China in its early days to morphing into a full-blown pandemic that has landed in our backyard — nobody now is immune to Covid-19 and its devastating effects.

This is something the family and friends of Merle Jacobs know too well.

Jacobs, 42, a much-loved Livingstone Hospital nurse and mother to Haydon, died last month after contracting Covid-19.

She has been described as a bubbly and energetic colleague who always strove to ensure her patients were comfortable.

Her husband, Lionel, said she had tested positive and was admitted to hospital after self-isolating when nine patients in her ward tested positive.

“My wife was very passionate about her job and, even though she knew it was risky, she often said someone had to do the job,” he said.

“She loved and cared for her patients so much that even at home, she would be on the phone with colleagues who were on duty after her shift, reminding them of things to give to the patients.”

The Jacobs family’s is not the only such story. More than 1,600 South Africans from all walks of life, all ages, and from every corner of the country, have already lost their lives.

Thousands more have already been infected — some have recovered and others are fighting for their lives, attached to ventilators — and thousands more will still be infected.

So, as SA continues to ease lockdown restrictions and we start to resuscitate our economy, remember that this is not a licence to go about life as we knew it before Covid-19.

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