Beating COVID19 is a community effort

By: James MacLeod - Managing Director, Tobin Brothers Funerals
Thursday, August 13, 2020

It was On 23rd March 2020 that Tobin Brothers Funerals cared for its first COVID19 death. Since that time, we have cared for over 100 clients who have died from this hideous virus. Over my 30 plus years as a funeral director I have been witness to those that have lost their lives to other infectious diseases including HIV, Hep A, Hep B, Hep C, Hep D and many others but I have never seen anything like COVID19.  

At Tobin Brothers, we have a COVID19 taskforce team that cares for the transfers of the deceased from the place of death and specialist embalmers to care for the preparation of the deceased for viewings. As a member of the COVID taskforce, over recent weeks I have been to a number of  nursing homes and hospitals all over Melbourne. I must say that the vast majority of the nursing homes I have attended are modern and contemporary, certainly different to nursing homes that we would regularly visit 20 and 30 years ago. Often they were old, rundown and the majority of patients were living in shared rooms and sharing bathroom facilities. The one consistency that I have found in visiting these facilities is, the only people present are staff. More often than not when you attend a transfer family and friends are gathered to support one another. When you die as a result of COVID19 you do so in complete isolation with only the support of the staff in these facilities.


I have always had the highest regard for nurses. My wife Louise, my sister Cathy, my mother-in-law Anne are all nurses. Their passion, their meticulous attention to detail, care and love of patients is something I have always admired. In these peoples last hours, these great super-heroes, nurses, are the ones left to provide care and comfort. In some of the venues I have attended in recent weeks I have witnessed how stretched nurses are. You see how tired they are but with all this in mind the one thing that continuously shines through is how much they genuinely care.

COVID19 is a terrible virus. In attending some health facilities I have witnessed the patients suffering, their cries, the buzzers calling for help and the loneliness. This virus does not discriminate – the young, the old, the saint the sinner, the rich, the poor. The role we all have to play to support the Premier and the Chief Health Officers stage 4 instructions is so important and if we all do our part the worst will pass. We all have a role to play because it is #whatweneedtodo.

I implore you all to please play your part, to do what you can to protect yourself and the community and finally, if you know a nurse or another person working at the front line of health, pick up the phone, text them, shoot them a note of support. The work they are doing is absolutely amazing.



James MacLeod - Managing Director, Tobin Brothers Funerals


Leave a comment
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.


Please wait

Previous Posts

Celebrating the Life of Father Gerard Dowling OAM DE

Fr Gerard Dowling OAM DE  (1932-2023) Fr Gerard was a close friend of Tobin Brothers, a tremendous writer, radio host, qualified counsellor and a Catholic Priest to the Archdiocese for 65 yea...

Father Gerard Dowling OAM DE celebrates 50 years on radio!

On Sunday 3rd September 2023, Fr Gerard Dowling OAM DE celebrated a wonderful milestone of 50 years on Sunday evenings on the radio.   It was in 1973 that Fr Gerard first hosted his first ra...

Lessons from Fr Bob Maguire

In 1960, Rev Fr Robert Maguire AM PE RFD affectionately known to all as Fr Bob was ordained. Over the last 60-plus years, so many of our team members at Tobin Brothers have had the privilege to wor...

The day Queen Elizabeth II came to Frankston

It was Friday 7th March 1986 and I was 15 years old, attending Ballam Park Technical School in Frankston.  One of the largest schools in the area, Ballam Park had been selected for Que...

Celebrating Father Gerard Dowling

  Today we would like to pay tribute to Fr Gerard Dowling OAM DE. In recent weeks he celebrated his 90th birthday and also the 49th anniversary of him being on air with the Family Counsellor...

Christmas Message 2021

  In 2020, they said it was a year that we will remember, we can add 2021 to that also. Back-to-back unforgettable years. The last two years have challenged us all in so many varied ways, an...

Escape from Neil’s Wheel: Good Friday Appeal Fundraiser

  Victoria’s Good Friday Appeal, is one of the most important annual events in the state, raising funds to enable The Royal Children’s hospital in Melbourne to provide world class care for ...

Christmas Message 2020

In our lifetimes there has never been a more important time to gather. As 2020 commenced, after our country was crippled with bushfires and so many tragically lost their homes and some their loved...

Get the Test Done

  In March 2020 I turned 50, it was a very quiet celebration as we had just commenced going into COVID19 lockdown. A few weeks after I turned 50 a parcel arrived for me in the post, a prese...

Tobin Brothers are here to help

  Funerals are an important time for family and friends to come together as a community to express our love and process our thoughts and feelings about the death of someone we love. The funer...