June 25, 2020
Lonely, afraid and relying on strangers who due to staffing and coronavirus concerns have very little time to spend with you individually to provide food and comfort. You lie in the bed or sit in the chair and stare at the wall.
Where are the people who say they love you? Why can you not sit outside and have ice cream with your niece? Why should you eat or drink anything? What does it matter? Why do you want to live if all it means is looking at four walls? What quality of life is that?
Staff can leave and go home or be picked up by their family to go anywhere they choose. They wear masks when they come in after being everywhere so why can’t your family wear a mask to see you?
“They” say they want to protect us from the virus. So, is it more humane to let us die in isolation and loneliness than to die from a virus? Who decides that dying from one thing is worse than dying from another. If my family member wears a mask and has their temperature checked why are they are more dangerous to me than the staff members that come in and out.
Some days I have trouble remembering what my family looks like. I need to hear their voice, see their face and be reminded of who I am. I need them to hold my hand and let me feel loved. Exactly what am I being protected from? Love, companionship, personal attention and observation are the things that keep me going, my reason for continuing to live. Without them why do I want to survive?
Is this the way I want to die, alone, scared, unloved, isolated? Animals in a shelter are shown more compassion than those of us imprisoned in nursing homes. Anyone could understand waiting a few weeks to get a handle on the virus but no one said it would be months or maybe years before a sustainable level of infection is obtained.
If I am willing to risk getting the virus and my family is willing to risk it then why can we not be together? They do not visit anyone else in my building and I am not allowed out of my room. I see multiple staff members in a week’s time, some of them even work in other nursing homes. They are actually exposed to the virus and yet it is OK for them to care for me? Again I do not understand. You are protecting me how?
I see my family through the glass. My eyes aren’t good so I assume it is them. I cannot hear them well as I have hearing aids and they are trying to talk to me through glass. It is even more painful that they are so close yet we cannot touch. I cannot feel their hand on mine. I turn away so they don’t see my tears. I am afraid I will die alone in this place not from a virus but from a broken heart.
Go about your lives you who make these decisions. I pray that you are not imprisoned inside four walls isolated from everyone and everything that you love. Doomed to live like an animal in a kennel until your time to go. Yes a staff member pats me on the back and brings me a glass of water but I don’t drink it. Why should I? I am but another task in their long day. Once I die they will not grieve my death. My bed will be filled by another lonely soul.
Live your life while you can. Corona will kill me not from lung destruction but from heartache and loneliness.
Why will you not talk to us? Those of us who can still talk, who still have feelings, who are human beings that need companionship, love and human touch. We are not just an insurance payment to our facilities. We are people and we deserve to live and die in a humane matter with respect. We are the unspoken causalities of this virus. We are the ones with no voice who deserve to be heard. We still matter!
Remember these words: “In as much as you have done to the least of these my brethren, you have done to it unto me.” Matthew 25:40 (KJV) “A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.”–Mahatma Ghandi.