Random Reflections 2020:Collateral Damage
The obvious things about this pandemic are known to all of us at this point:
Shelter in place
Work at home
6 feet and more apart at all times
Only go out for the "Essentials" in life.
But something we have not considered is: what is Covid19's collateral damage?
I found out today...when my elderly neighbor died in a hospital!
She had been a cancer survivor!
She was in remission and taking back her life.
She lived across the street from me, so I would check in with her, ask how she was feeling and compliment her on how great she was looking.
And she always said "Thank you! I'm going to beat this cancer!"
And I smiled and said "That's our prayer!"
And you know what?
She was 6 months into her remission-- and the doctors said she had a great likelihood of beating cancer!
And then 4 weeks ago, she fell at home.
The ambulance came and whisked her away to the hospital.
This was right after the pandemic started, so...
Her husband was not allowed to visit her.
Her 2 daughters were not allowed to visit her.
Her grandson was not allowed to visit her.
No one was allowed in-- but the nurses would give the family updates on her progress.
It all seemed like a matter of time and she would be sitting in her front yard again, waving at me as I drove by.
And then last week-- her kidneys starting shutting down.
She started dialysis twice a day.
Her progress started deteriorating.
Then at 2am on Thursday morning, 4/16/20-- her husband got a call no one wants to get.
His wife had died.
He had not seen her in 4 weeks, and now-- she was gone.
Her daughters did not get to see her before she passed away.
Her grandson did not get to hug his grandma before she went to heaven.
And now...they could not even plan a funeral because...she was the collateral damage of this horrible pandemic!
And he said to me "and now, I cannot even have a final moment with my wife, pay respects, honor her at her funeral--it is not allowed!"
And unfortunately, this story is becoming typical during this never expected, never could be predicted hour of our world history.
In America, we have now lost over 40,000 lives.
Many of them are elderly-- all of them died alone or with a wonderful nurse who stepped in at the final hour to be a family member.
But...the one thing that we fear the most...dying alone...is the biggest collateral damage of this painful moment in our lives.
And it isn't just the elderly-- some are infants, some are 30somethings, 40somethings, 50somethings...
It originally was slated as killing our elderly so many people said "I'm not old, so...I don't have to worry about it getting me!"
Well friend-- you need to worry now!
My neighbor was 73-- that's just not old anymore--but the irony here is-- she did NOT die from Covid19--but her death was lumped into it.
She still didn't have family around her.
She still didn't have her husband by her side.
She still didn't have her grandson hugging her goodbye.
She did not die from the Corona Virus!
But...she still died alone.
And we don't know when or IF she will get a proper send off with a Celebration of her life or a funeral and burial.
The dishonor in death she did NOT deserve.
Nor will you...