‘We thought it was a cold’: Cov Uni student speaks out on losing a loved one to Coronavirus

She never got the chance to say goodbye

As the number of coronavirus cases crept over a million worldwide this week, lots of people have lost their loved ones. Molly, an international student from Zimbabwe studying at Coventry University, shares with The Coventry Tab her story of losing her brother-in-law to coronavirus.

“My brother-in-law married my sister when I was a child. He was someone to look up to and always treated every member of the family with love”. She says she viewed him as the perfect husband for her sister while she was growing up.

“Zimbabwe is a very poor country and testing is still very limited” says Molly. Her brother-in-law travelled to rural areas to attend a funeral. “When he came back, he was complaining of breathlessness”. Molly’s family thought it was just a common cold.

He passed away on the 12th of April 2020 and his death was sudden. “It was too late for him to get help. My family and I only learned that he had coronavirus a day before he passed”.

Molly says she was devastated by the news. “The last time I saw him was over a year ago. And he was very strong”. Molly expresses how it has been very difficult for her and her family as most of her family were unable to attend his funeral.

She felt guilty for not being able to be with her sister at the time of need: “That is the thing about living abroad. You never get the chance to say goodbye to all your loved ones”. Due to the pandemic and travel bans, the situation is made much worse. Her family is self-isolating now and being careful.

It was very difficult for Molly to deal with the grief as well as uni assignments. She says it was severely affecting her work. “That whole week was phone calls back and forth, so those days were wasted”. She would try to do some work in between the calls but she couldn’t concentrate.

“I could not even mourn his death properly, I tried to focus on finishing the assignments, but it was very difficult”. She says it felt as if had to strike a balance between university and grieving with her family.

Molly admits it is a difficult situation for everyone at the moment. She told The Coventry Tab: “I don’t think anyone has seen anything on this scale”. Our thoughts are with Molly and her family at this difficult time.

For more information and guidance surrounding coronavirus or to get mental health support during this time, please use the links within this article.

Photo by Dan Edge on Unsplash