Remembering the loved ones we've lost to Covid-19 as death toll passes 100,000

BEHIND any statistic, there is so much more than just a number.

By David George
Wednesday, 27th January 2021, 5:50 pm

Each one has stories to tell, people that have been involved, and a resonating impact on others.

On Tuesday, the UK death toll linked to Covid-19 passed 100,000 – and while it’s a shocking figure we can't forget that each one of those deaths was a loved one, someone’s relative, or another’s close friend.

This virus has taken lives and shattered others, but we will never forget those we have lost.

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George Mason

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Today, some of those who did lose loved ones to Covid-19 have paid tribute, and are reminding us of exactly why we're sacrificing so much.

Twin brother Malcolm says the pair spent their entire lives together, from an apprenticeship at the old Husband’s barbershop in Brockhurst Road to running their own shop together.

George Mason, a Gosport barber who died from Covid-19

He said: ‘Since George died things have been really tough – it’s been nearly a year now but it doesn’t get any easier.

‘I still get upset about it and I don’t think I’ll ever get over it properly. We couldn't even have a funeral for him.’

For Malcolm, now 72, his brother’s death serves as a constant reminder to follow the lockdown rules.

‘It’s so frustrating when you see people breaking the rules,’ he said.

Top from left: Ann Milligan, Emma Dickinson and George Mason. Bottom from left: Don Andrews, Merrick Burrell and Steve Woodage

‘We know what this virus is capable of but people want to mess around anyway – I wouldn't wish Covid-19 on my worst enemy, but if they catch it they've got nobody to blame but themselves.’

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 217 deaths in Portsmouth where Covid-19 has been put on the death certificate.

Among those deaths were veteran police officer Don Andrews – known from his Leigh Park beat as PC Magic – and former transport manager for The News, Steve Woodage.

Top from left: Ann Milligan, Emma Dickinson and George Mason. Bottom from left: Don Andrews, Merrick Burrell and Steve Woodage

Daughter and former police sergeant Lesley Meenaghan says sunnier days are coming, but we must not get complacent.

She said: ‘This is a war, and the greatest weapon Covid-19 has is complacency.

‘I don’t think any of us would have comprehended this time last year what was on the horizon.

‘Behind each death is huge sadness and loss. Complacency has and no doubt will take more lives.

'For this reason we must all play our part. Obey the rules and save lives.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

Top from left: Ann Milligan, Emma Dickinson and George Mason. Bottom from left: Don Andrews, Merrick Burrell and Steve Woodage

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Top from left: Ann Milligan, Emma Dickinson and George Mason. Bottom from left: Don Andrews, Merrick Burrell and Steve Woodage