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Obey rules, warns son as mum dies after shopping

Tragedy: Virus victim Jean Howes PICTURE: SWNS

A HEARTBROKEN son has urged a ‘clampdown’ on social distancing rules after his mum died from coronavirus she caught at a supermarket.

Jean Howes, 87, only left her home to buy groceries after the government advised the elderly not to go out.

Her son Jeff said: ‘She would go out once a week for about an hour. She knew she was in the higher risk category so she was careful.

‘I’d take her shopping just to the local Asda. She was independent but stayed indoors as much as she could.’

But the great-grandmother contracted the virus on one of her brief trips. She seemed at first to just have ‘a little bit of a cold’ — but it escalated to the point where she couldn’t get out of bed.

She was taken to Coventry University Hospital on Friday, and died on Monday.

Mr Howes, 58, from Coventry, posted on Facebook: ‘It is just madness that people are still going out in groups or having barbecues and carrying on.

‘We were probably the same as everybody else, thinking this is a horrible thing but it won’t affect us.

‘It can happen to you and, when it does, it hits hard. I think there needs to be more of a clampdown and do what other countries have done. It’s difficult but it just needs to be stricter.’

Quarantine rules meant Ms Howes couldn’t see her family in hospital. Her son said: ‘At the end, we were allowed to see her if we wore protective suits which we did. It was heartbreaking.

‘I wouldn’t want anyone to go through what we have gone through and that’s why I’m begging people to stay at home and obey the rules on social distancing.’

The dad-of-two’s post has been liked by more than 40,000 people.

‘I just hope the message gets through before more people die like my mum did,’ he added.

‘My mum was a kind, loving, generous lady that thought the world of her family. She had a mischievous sense of humour and was stubbornly independent. She will be sorely missed.’