Marilyn Tallio says her mom sent her a smiling selfie just two weeks before she died from COVID-19.
At the time of the photo, 59-year-old Cindy Mountain, who lived in Alert Bay, didn’t even have any symptoms.
Eight months later her family, including four children, 16 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren, is still deep in grief.
“You just never know what can happen, that life is really short,” said a tearful Tallio from her home in Keremeos.
Mountain, who lived in Alert Bay, had flu-like symptoms last April, early in the pandemic.
She didn’t think much of it at first and by the time she ended up at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital on a ventilator, it was too late — she died eight days after getting sick.
“People should really be taking this seriously because they think it’s a joke, it’s not a joke, my mom was the 105th person to die when this started and died on April 24th, and now we’re in 2021 in January and there’s a thousand deaths, it’s crazy,” Tallio said.
A total of 1,010 people have died from COVID-19 in the past 10 months in British Columbia — a number that is climbing steadily and no longer far below the overdose crisis, which caused 1,548 deaths over 11 months last year.
Between the two health crises, deaths are so high in this province that the BC Coroners Service has been forced to deployed its first refrigerated morgue truck to manage the overflow in the Fraser Valley.
“It means that everything is just being pushed to the limits,” said Ngaio Davis, with Koru Funeral Home Services in Vancouver.
B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program is now in high-gear but supply is a challenge.
“We do expect to fully use up all of the Pfizer vaccine that we have in the province by today and we are waiting our supplies to come in in the coming days as well we’re awaiting an additional shipment of Moderna vaccine by this week,” said B.C.’s provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.
It will all come too late for Mountain and the 1, 009 other people who have lost their lives to this virus so far.
“She’s very missed, I loved her, and I can’t wait for this virus to go away so we can all just be with our families,” said Tallio.