Scientist and TV presenter Liz Bonnin says she is "broken" after her mother passed away over Christmas after contracting Covid-19, adding that her late mum is "also a victim of the ongoing mishandling of the pandemic".

The French-Irish science, wildlife and natural history presenter, who has hosted a wide range of programmes including Galapagos, How the Earth Works, and Stargazing Live, opened up about losing her mother in a long Twitter post, in which she praised Britain's NHS but also condemned "absurd conspiracy theories" about the pandemic.  

Writing on Tuesday morning, she said, "I lost mum to Covid this Christmas. I am broken and there is a lot to heal. It’s hard to put into words just how extraordinary the @NHSuk nurses and doctors have been, how patient and kind as they led me through every detail of mum’s condition that I hung on to, how composed despite the nightmare they’ve had to endure for far too long now, how privileged we are to have the NHS.

"It strikes me once again, thanks to the faceless angels I spoke to on the end of a phone, often in the dead of night, just how beautiful we humans can be - compassionate, dedicated, strong, selfless, brave, honest, empathetic - traits that as a society we seem to have forgotten we are all capable of as we continue to deepen the divides between us out of fear, out there in the world.

Trinity graduate Bonnin began her career on RTÉ before moving to the UK in the early 2000s

"I don’t know how to start healing from the way mum had to die but what I do know is that she was a victim of the ongoing mishandling of the pandemic, and the blatant misunderstanding of what it takes to contain the virus and therefore protect the economy. We didn’t listen to and act on the science.

"My world crumbled as I watched her suffer the consequences of what we continue to prioritise in much of the global north at the cost of environmental and human health, in an age of blind partisanship, rampant misinformation and absurd conspiracy theories.

"I dearly hope that in my lifetime we will collectively wake up and reject our addiction to monetary gain and short term political goals, and recognise the true value of connectedness, community, wellbeing, kindness and caring for our planet and each other - no matter our age.

"There was a time when we revered our elders, when it would have been unheard of to speak of older people as more dispensable than others. My mother was not a less important human. Nor was she just a statistic.

"We have it in us to be better. The NHS heroes I’ve had the honour of speaking to and sometimes of seeing briefly at the ICU doors that I couldn’t go through, who not only took care of my mum but of me too, and many thousands of others, are testament to that. We have it in us.

"I will continue to get unbiased, science-based information about Covid-19 from such trusted sources as @devisridhar, @edyong209 and @IndependentSage. Stay safe and take care of each other."