This is a double headed blog post. Its heavy and it is deep. Its so sad and concerning, yet it is so important to be said.
To begin, my uncle passed away this weekend. He was not in the best of health. He had a heart issue, was overweight, didn’t eat well. Generally he did not take the best care of himself. But the one thing that hits hard is that he refused a Covid vaccine. He said that Covid was a hoax. It isn’t real. He refused the vaccine, masks, social distancing. Didn’t do all the things that he could have to prevent Covid. He got Covid and now he is dead. Granted, not getting vaccinated was his choice. He had a right to decide what was “best” for himself, but he didn’t think about how his actions of not getting a vaccine would affect others around him, short or long term. The consequences of spreading the virus to others who were vulnerable, those who had preexisting conditions. The emotional hurt, frustration or pain of others. We had to break the news to my grandmother in the nursing home and that was one of the most heart wrenching things I have ever seen. There is a chance that maybe, just maybe, had he gotten the vaccine, wore the masks, and realized that this isn’t some joke, he may have bought himself a little more time and would have died peacefully in his sleep later down the road instead of being hooked up to countless machines in a medically induced coma completely void of the environment around him.
I believe in science. I believe in medicine. I believe that vaccines work. I mean how else would small pox have been eradicated? I believe that the Covid vaccines are the best way to stop severe illness from happening and protecting those more vulnerable. I implore anyone who has not gotten the vaccine, please do not let your ego, pride, or the endless misinformation stop you from getting one.
The second iceberg is this; I was inside the nursing home yesterday, in the wing my grandmother is in. It was 10am and she was supposed to have breakfast at 8, so her food was 2 hours late. She filled out her meal card for breakfast which included toast with jam, bacon and a fruit cup. She got plain toast (no butter) and a small glass of juice and that was it. Her water cup was empty, no one had filled it as of noon when we left. There was only one CNA that I saw in her wing the whole time and one dietary aide. That’s it. One CNA for about 24 residents. How in the world is that legal? And they think these residents are getting quality care? And for the almost $10,000 a month in room and board you think that they could at least give her butter with her toast.
So with that, please make sure if you have a loved one in a nursing home, go see them. Bring them goodies and gadgets. Make sure that they have a warm blanket or something cozy. If not, think of making a donation to a home to give some of the residents a little cheer this holiday. I will continue to yell at the top of my lungs until someone at the state level listens to what I am telling them about the care in the nursing homes, but in the meantime, I might try to spread some holiday cheer for those who need it a little more than me.
Let’s just say that we need to make better choices. Think about others more than ourselves. Bring back kindness. I know it is out there, we just have to make it happen.