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The East End care home where Covid stole the lives of 21 people

Residents at Aspen Court survived the blitz but had little chance against disastrous government policy in first wave

“It was like I had been hit by a truck,” said Lauren Turrell, thinking back to over two years ago. On 4 April 2020, her grandmother Irene Penton died in a Covid-ravaged care home in London’s East End.

With Covid’s first wave rising to its peak, Penton became one of the first of at least 21 residents in Aspen Court to perish in under a month. Like many of the residents of the purpose-built home in Poplar, Irene, 92, had dementia. She had spent her lifetime in the East End and had survived the blitz but could not avoid Covid.

As the UK’s Covid death toll surpasses 200,000, families of Aspen Court residents have recalled how their loved ones were swept away in those first weeks. What happened there was a microcosm of a nationwide trauma that thousands of families are still struggling with today.

As lockdown began, Irene Penton had been doing fine. Then her family received a call from the care staff to say “it’s not long now”. Fifteen minutes later, Penton, who in happier times had treated Lauren to the amusement arcades in Clacton-on-Sea and taught her to crochet, was dead.

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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