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‘Horrible to think she’s now a number’: The faces behind the 50,000 COVID deaths

Written by on 12 November 2020

COVID’s toll of more than 50,000 deaths in the UK paints its own sad picture, but behind every life lost is a story of grief and sorrow.

The families of each soul taken by the disease now bear their heartache under the shadow of the pandemic.

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UK COVID deaths pass 50,000

Marium Baig and her three sisters lost their mum Yasmeen to COVID-19 in April. She was just 58 years old.

Marium told Sky News how it hurts that her mum’s life has been reduced to a statistic.

“It’s just horrible to think she is now a number, one of the 50,000. It should never have got to that, it’s heart breaking,” she said.

“I feel for all the other families that are in the same situation because I know how hard it is, it’s the most horrible thing to go through.”

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Marium Baig said her mother had always been a fighter
Marium Baig said her mother had always been a fighter

Remembering her mum as a grandma of seven and a woman “loved by every member of the family”, Marium said: “She was just full of life, always happy and smiling.

“The kids miss her so much, they cry every night for their nana and we just have to try and stay strong for our kids.”

The recipient of two kidney transplants, the last in 2018, Mrs Baig’s poor underlying health meant she was at greater risk of dying from COVID-19 once infected.

Her daughter said: “We were so positive till the last day that mum is going to fight it. She’s such a fighter and after having two kidney transplants we thought she is just going to fight this virus off.

'You are literally fighting for your breath' - Inside intensive care unit battling COVID-19

‘You are literally fighting for your breath’ – Inside intensive care unit battling COVID-19

“But she just couldn’t, she couldn’t beat the virus, her body wasn’t up for it.

“The most heart-breaking thing for us, was we couldn’t say bye properly. We couldn’t have a proper funeral, we couldn’t see her face because her body was zipped up in a black bag and in the coffin. That for me is the most upsetting thing.”

This pandemic has not only claimed lives, but it has also brought to the fore long-standing inequalities.

People from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups, like Yasmeen, have always been at greater risk of dying from the disease. They continue to lose lives in disproportionately high numbers.

But this virus has impacted people in all walks of life, from doctors to shopkeepers, nurses to taxi drivers – more than 50,000 victims to this invisible killer.

Many who were loved dearly, who should of had years ahead of them, had their time cut short because of a global pandemic.