Why can’t a woman be like a man?

"Corona brings so much suffering"

Man does not want to hear vaccination debates after his wife’s death: "Could not say goodbye to her"

The wife of Siegfried Bank from Borken died in the Corona crisis alone in the hospital. He could not say goodbye. Now he has a burning appeal.

Borken – The house of Siegfried Bank from Borken is a Christmas dream, everything is lovingly decorated and adorned. "My wife had her fun with it," says the man from Borken, who is preparing everything on his own this Advent. His wife Anni, to whom he had been married for almost 46 years, died in hospital ten months ago.

The 67-year-old still suffers from not being able to stand by her – there were no visiting rights during the pandemic. That’s why he can hardly bear the debate about compulsory vaccination: His wife died alone. Without parting. What that meant, those who opposed vaccination full of "ignorance and selfishness" could not imagine, says the man from Borken. But also to them he does not wish what he experienced.

Anni Bank died alone in the hospital: because of Corona, her husband could not say goodbye

Anni Bank was doing well at the beginning of the year shortly after an operation, she was at home, cheerful, had coped well even with chemotherapy the day before. Until she could no longer move one arm. Siegfried Bank, worried that it could be a stroke, called an ambulance. "But I never thought for a second that it would be the last time I would see her," he says.

But as bad as it is – that’s how it was. Anni Bank had actually suffered a stroke, ended up in a hospital – and had a roommate there. Actually no issue, but: The woman was corona positive, as it turned out. Whether Anni Bank had contracted it, whether she also carried the virus, was not clarified – the Borkenerin died of a heart attack.

Nevertheless, her body had to be treated as a suspected case of corona as a precautionary measure. "No one knows what this means for the relatives," Bank says. For him, it meant, "I couldn’t comfort her, I couldn’t hold her hand, I couldn’t encourage her, I couldn’t say goodbye to her," he says – and you can feel the sorrow that thought causes.

Corona: Siegfried Bank cannot understand vaccination debate

What also troubles him: "We had promised each other firmly that neither of us would have to die alone.“ But neither of the two, who were happily awaiting the birth of their second grandchild, could have imagined that the farewell would come so soon- and no one had the slightest idea that Corona itself would break such promises.

But this knowledge does not lessen the loss or the suffering. When Siegfried Bank and his sons came to the clinic to say goodbye to the wife and mother, they had to wear protective clothing, were not allowed to touch the deceased.

All this will soon be eleven months ago. At that time, the very first vaccinations were just put in the nursing home. Now, however, vaccine is available for everyone – but by no means everyone wants to get it. Siegfried Bank cannot understand this, he is angry about the endless debates and discussions, which for him only prolong the pandemic instead of getting it under control. He is sure: "If people knew how much suffering Corona brings even to those who don’t even have the virus themselves, they would get vaccinated – to protect themselves and others."

After lonely death of his wife in hospital: man with urgent Corona appeal

Corona also failed to fulfill the wish that Anni Bank, as a devout Christian, always had: "Just dress me in something smart so I look good when I’m supposed to stand before the Lord God," she often told her husband. The had her beautiful white dress put in the coffin with her, which she never got to wear once in her life. More was not possible.

Even today, the situation is often no different: Even soon eleven months after this tragic story, the situation is hardly any different – although sufficient vaccine has long been available in the meantime. Siegfried Bank cannot understand this. His appeal to all: get vaccinated. Showing solidarity. And thus reduce the likelihood of a repeat of such terrible farewells as the one he experienced. (Claudia Brandau)

The number of corona cases in Germany is rising sharply: on Friday (26.11.2021), the RKI reported over 76.000 new infections within 24 hours.

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