Almost a year ago I saw videos and read stories of families being torn apart due to illnesses and deaths from COVID-19. The stories struck me at my core. In our online magazine, I posted images from artist Juan Lucena, on pages 10 & 11. In them he depicts children saying goodby to their grandparents behind plexiglass. I could only imagine what it could be like, the grief the grandparents must have felt to not be able to get close to family members, to be held by them, feel an embrace, hold their hands … just one last time.
To lose all human contact can be a horrible experience. Recently a new video has popped up in Italy promoting the vaccine and produced by the Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri. It is a touching video and exemplifies the reality of the world we live in. Never could I have imagined that this video could be a reality and a wish on my part.
A wish because I would gladly take the plastic barrier over no contact at all.
The CDC on its website cites evidence that isolation causes premature death and increases by almost 50% death to those with certain underlying conditions, and yet the first thing we do is isolate everyone due to this virus.
Like thousands of others, we made the decision to hospitalize our mother over two weeks ago due to bilateral bronchial pneumonia, due to covid. I never realized the impact this would have on us all. Imagining her alone, isolated, no contact with another human other than hospital first responders, sealed behind protective outerwear as if making their first lunar landing in a world unaware of the living threat in the air. Imagine this from a patient’s perspective, seeing this through their eyes as they strain to breathe life into their lungs, utter a few words, and clutch onto life.
For us at home, minutes seemed like hours and days seemed like months.
The only contact we had was via a flip-style cell phone as my mother could not handle the technology of a phone that would allow for facetime calls. We staggered calls with family members so as to not exhaust her and being aware of the battery limitations. We prayed she could heal enough to be able to come home and continue her therapy with family close by. We couldn’t imagine her alone being cared for with plastic gloves, masks, and body armor.
There are the naysayers, and conspiracy theorists, and yes those that believe and those that don’t, but the virus is real. It attacks and does not look at ethnicity, financial wealth, social status. It does not discriminate. It will attack harshly those more vulnerable like the elderly and many with underlying conditions. The loneliness felt in everyone’s lives, of families being stripped or ripped apart because of the virus, is real.
So yes, isolate them, protect them, heal them, but please help them not be alone …