Chloe Middleton: the coronavirus death that wasn’t
The 21-year-old’s tragic death has not been recorded as due to Covid-19.
This week, the news of the heartbreaking death of 21-year-old Chloe Middleton went across social media. She was reported to be Britain’s youngest coronavirus victim with no pre-existing condition. And so her case was quickly held up as proof as to why young people – thought to be too blasé about Covid-19 – should take the outbreak more seriously.
BREAKING: A 21-year-old woman is believed to be the youngest person with no pre-existing health conditions to have died after contracting #coronavirus in the UK.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) March 25, 2020
But the Guardian reports this afternoon that her death has not actually been recorded as a Covid-19 death:
‘Middleton was taken to Wexham Park hospital in Slough last weekend after she had a heart attack. Attempts to resuscitate her failed and she was pronounced dead soon after arriving… A Berkshire coroner said the death was related to Covid-19 after being told Middleton had a cough, the source said. But this surprised medics at the hospital, who have not recorded it as a coronavirus incident.’
An NHS source tells the Guardian that ‘the coroner’s move “raised eyebrows” at the hospital because [Middleton] had not tested positive for the disease’.
This shows us the dangers of allowing political imperatives – ie, the need for young people to take this crisis seriously – to get ahead of the facts. Amid this outbreak we need clear-eyed discussion of what’s really going on.
It seems this tragedy was too swiftly leapt upon and turned into a cautionary tale about Covid-19, purely because it aligned with some people’s worst fears. We need to do better.
Picture by: Facebook.
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