Monday, April 12, 2021
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‘It’s more than a pandemic. It’s a plague that’s taking hold of people’s lives’

‘It’s more than a pandemic. It’s a plague that’s taking hold of people’s lives’
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Heartbreaking stories run through RTÉ Investigates: Covid-19 – The Third Wave (RTÉ One, Tuesday, 9.35pm). A husband hospitalised with the virus tries to keep the worrying truth from his wife, receiving treatment for Covid in the same building.

The cameras maintain a discreet distance at the funeral of an elderly couple, both claimed by coronavirus within the same week. A doctor calls the family member of a patient to reveal their condition has deteriorated badly. He puts down the phone and tries not to sob.

RTÉ has reported previously from the Covid frontline. But this latest dispatch, from Tallaght University Hospital, is perhaps the most unsettling yet. Filmed through January it soberly and respectfully – but chillingly, too – shows us the reality of the post-Christmas surge that has led to fears of the health service becoming swamped.

“In many ways, hospitals have been overrun in recent weeks,” Prof Paul Ridgway, the lead clinical director of Tallaght University Hospital, says. “If we were to have a wave that continues and continues to increase … then, yes, our bed base in the country would be overrun.”



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