Dr Simon was the Managing Director of New Hope Hospital in Chennai. The 55-year-old neurosurgeon has helped hundreds of patients in his lifetime, and is remembered by people around him as a person who put humanity first. But in his death, Dr Simon was denied the same by residents of the city that he served, thanks to uncontrolled rumours around the spread of COVID-19.
In fact, his family couldn’t even say a final goodbye to the doctor, who died due to COVID-19 and likely contracted the disease from patients he was caring for. “We were hit with wooden logs and stones when we tried to bury him,” says Dr Pradeep, a friend of Dr Simon, who was the person who buried the neurosurgeon in the dead of the night after hours of frightening retaliation from people who were spurred by fear, instead of empathy.