The past year has been tough for many as the COVID-19 pandemic has torn apart families across the country, with the death toll close to 150,000.
Families who have lost loved ones are now demanding answers over how the pandemic was handled and why so many lives have been lost.
The group COVID-19 Bereaved Families for Justice are calling for the government for a public inquiry into the government’s handling of the pandemic to obtain answers for those who have lost loved ones.
Lobby Akinnola, 30, who is based in Northwood sadly lost his dad Olufemi last April described his father as a very kind and loving man.
He said: “He was a very kind and loving man, he worked as a carer for Mencap and everyone remembered him, he would visit people in hospital.
“He took COVID very seriously. I want people to understand that anyone can get it, my dad was healthy, he didn’t have any underlying health conditions.
“All of the lives that have been lost are not because people are going to BBQs and stuff.”
Since his father’s passing, Lobby has been involved in the group and working to raise awareness of how COVID can affect families.
He said: “My dad passed away from COVID in April last year and I got involved with COVID-19 Bereaved Families for Justice to ask for a public inquiry to try to understand what went wrong and what we could have done better.
“It has been about raising awareness and trying to get people aware of the inquiry, asking the government for an inquiry since June last year and haven’t really had any luck and have been asking for support last year.”
Lobby added that getting answers isn’t as simple as it seems and there are several things that need to be considered.
He said: “There’s lots of different things, there was the first lockdown, we didn’t really address the borders until a year until the pandemic, there was a shortage of PPE, we just want to try and understand what went wrong.”
Lobby also said that joining the group has offered him and many others support after losing loved ones.
He said: “Part of the reasons I joined the group was for that moral support, COVID is in the news every day, there’s no escaping it, it’s been quite difficult.
“A big aspect of the group is supporting each other, it’s very easy to feel lonely and hop onto Facebook for support.
“It’s really easy to just see the numbers, but behind each one is a family and a group of people grieving.”
At the time of writing the petition had over 206,000 signatures, to sign it head to change.org/p/hold-a-public-inquiry-into-the-government-s-handling-of-the-covid-19-pandemic
For more information go to covidfamiliesforjustice.org