Do these people have no hearts?
This article looks like it could be something from the satire website The Babylon Bee, but it isn’t and that’s pretty astounding.
Long-term care facilities around the world have been hit very hard with the coronavirus pandemic. Once the virus enters a nursing home or similar seniors facility, there is an inevitable massive loss of life. Many countries are reporting that the vast majority of fatalities due to COVID-19 have been in facilities that provide care for the elderly. Canada is no exception. Recently, Canadian news reported that the majority of COVID deaths have occurred in long-term care facilities.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is facing heat over his decision to force nursing homes to admit COVID-positive residents and sending them there with body bags. The virus spread like wildfire in the facilities and so many unnecessary deaths occurred in those places.
Families have been hit hard with as visiting has been severely restricted or outright prohibited to prevent the spread of the virus by asymptomatic carriers entering the facilities.
The Public Health Agency of Canada has issued rigorous guidelines for preventing the spread of the virus which includes frequent testing and, as much as possible, preventing employees from working at more than one facility.
Now, Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, has pushed the regulations even further by restricting “window visits” from family members at the city-run facilities.
It has become an iconic image of the COVID-19 pandemic — a family member waving to an elderly loved one through the window of their long-term care home. Even Ontario Premier Doug Ford has talked about his wife visiting her mother that way.
But it will no longer be an option for families with loved ones in long-term care homes run by the City of Ottawa. In a memo this week, Dean Lett, director of long-term care for the city, asked families to stop visiting their loved ones at windows “to help ensure that physical distancing remains in place for all our residents.”
The news has devastated family members who say the visits are the only remaining connection they have with anxious and isolated loved ones whom they’ve been unable to see in person during the pandemic. Many of them do not respond to electronic communications the same way, say families.
Here’s a question for the COVIDiots running the show up there in Ottawa: How can you “physically distance” more than waving through a window?
Some of the stories profiled in the Ottawa Citizen article are absolutely heartbreaking–a wife unable to visit her husband, a daughter unable to see her mother with Alzheimer’s Disease has been asking to see her, and a 92-year old husband who would go almost daily to wave goodnight to his 89-year old wife through the window as she was taken to her room to prepare for bed. Prior to the lockdown, the 92-year old man and his daughter had visited his wife daily for 6 years.
Using technology for those with cognitive decline can be extremely difficult and frustrating.
Remember, these are literally visits to people outside of the facility while the residents who are at risk stay quarantined on the inside.
In a statement, Lett said the decision to limit visits outside of the homes “is based on prioritizing the safety and health of residents and staff. We have experienced a number of situations where families have visited and have not respected the requirement for physical distancing as directed through public health agencies.”
Lett added that the city-run homes have deployed additional staff and increased access to technology to assist residents to keep in touch with their loved ones through Skype, phone calls, emails and letters.
“We know the lack of connection during the pandemic has been so difficult for families and residents,” he said. “Families are encouraged to connect with staff to schedule regular opportunities to connect with their loved ones.”…
…Lett said the decision to stop window visits was difficult, but added: “With the effects that we have seen the virus have on long-term care homes across the country, we have a responsibility to do everything possible to minimize the risks of COVID-19 from entering the homes and to protect the safety of residents and staff.”
Source: Ottawa Citizen
This is a heartless decision on the part of the City of Ottawa.
But then, we shouldn’t be surprised at that.
The city has cracked down hard on residents. City parks are technically closed and playground or sports equipment is not to be used, but according to the City of Ottawa website, people are still permitted to walk through them–unless they aren’t. One man was fined $880 for walking his dog in a park, and another man who let his 4-year old autistic son play soccer in an empty field was warned by bylaw enforcement officers that he could face a $700 ticket if he allowed it to happen again. Ottawa’s Associate Medical Officer of Health has said that people are finding social distancing “loopholes” like having a beer on their driveway or talking to a neighbor over the fence. Those nefarious activities on your own property could lead to a social gathering of more than 5 people which is completely verboten in Ottawa.
Those leaders in Ottawa make Gov. Gretchen “That Woman From Michigan” Whitmer look positively placid and completely reasonable in comparison.
Let’s hope that some of those Canucks in their nation’s capital shake off their Canadian “niceness” and push back against this abuse of authority from the “experts” and allow them to visit family members in front of a closed window while their loved ones are still around to see them. After all, you don’t know how long they’ve got left.
***UPDATE: Thursday, April 30, 3:00 pm Eastern
City of Ottawa long-term care homes will allow “window visits.” They apparently had not spoken to Ottawa Public Health prior to implementing the rule.
Ottawa long-term care window visits to be reinstated after ban: Mayor (To say nothing of @fordnation rightly blowing a gasket over such a ridiculous, cruel decision. They didn't even talk to Ottawa Public Health before they imposed it.) https://t.co/mekkOGla5V #onpoli #cdnpoli
— Lorrie Goldstein (@sunlorrie) April 30, 2020