The Covid Ward | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

The Covid Ward

Life was already tough for Stephen Lavin on the Friday afternoon after Bonfire Night, when he was admitted to Glasgow Royal Infirmary to have a surgical wound assessed. He and his wife, Bernadette, had been self-isolating together since July last year, after his operation for advanced colorectal cancer and chemotherapy – isolation which turned to full shielding when news of Covid broke.

His mood wasn’t helped when, just as he was going into hospital, he heard that his cousin had caught Covid in the Royal Liverpool Hospital and had subsequently died. On Saturday, because it was then clear that 56 year old Stephen needed an operation, he himself was given a Covid test. Those were only given, he was told, to those over 70, or due for surgery, or showing or admitting to symptoms.

While he waited overnight, a drunk man was admitted at 2am from A&E, without being tested for Covid, although he was coughing and refusing to wear a mask. At one stage he tried to hug Stephen, and even went out to smoke a cigarette, unaccompanied, and then returned and demanded that a relative come and take him away because “these bastards won’t let me out for a fag”. The trained teacher’s anxiety during all this had, not surprisingly, rocketed to a point where he was now thinking of discharging himself too.

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