An 85-year-old resident at a nursing home in Melbourne said she wakes up every day disappointed to be alive because of the city's lockdown.
"I know I'm here until I die so every morning when I wake up I think, 'damn I've woken up'," Merle Mitchell told the Aged Care Royal Commission on Monday.
"I'm sure if you really ask most people here, they would all say they would rather be dead rather than be living here."
The months of isolation are meant to protect resident, but commissioners heard Australia now has one of the worst death rates in the world for aged care residents as 68 per cent of all Covid-19 deaths here are in aged care.
"The evidence will reveal neither the Commonwealth Department of Health nor the aged care regulator developed a Covid-19 plan specifically for the aged care sector," Peter Rozen QC, senior counsel assisting the royal commission, said.
Australian MP Bill Shorten said Mitchell's comments were "heartbreaking".
"I suppose what really upsets me about what I just saw with Merle and for thousands of other parents who have their loved ones in there is, you know, we knew this was coming," he told the Today show this morning.
"In March we got the warning and yet there was no plan again when the second spike," he continued.
"It's almost like because they're old and out of sight we can forget about them. The reality is unlike some of the problems of Covid-19 this nation has known that aged care has been very poorly run for a very long time. We have been on notice.
"The workforce are not trained enough. In many cases they're not paid enough. And the watch dog is a toothless tiger.
"There wasn't proper protective equipment in many of these facilities. We have known aged care has been under loved for too long. Covid-19 has just ripped the lid off it."