It has been 80 days since I’ve seen my parents, and it’s frustrating. As an adult daughter, I want to offer support and help them remain in good spirits as they traverse the rough road of their fragile elderhood while simultaneously living through an international pandemic. Right now, though, just about the only things I can do are calling, waving on FaceTime, and sending the occasional package.
What is reassuring, however, is that my parents live in a caregiving community that is bending over backward, and yes probably doing summersaults, to keep my parents, the other assisted living residents, and all the other members of the community protected and healthy.
If an illness should catch up with my parents during these pre-vaccine, on-and-off quarantine periods, it won’t be because the people who are caring for them did not apply all the bast epidemic mitigation and prevention protocols in an effort to keep everyone healthy. Even more reassuring, early on the leaders and staff of the entire retirement community did not wait to observe what might happen. They moved ahead and applied the best public health and epidemiological guidelines, taking protective steps the minute they heard about the first case of CoVid-19 in an assisted living community in Washington state.
I am grateful.
This is why I am appalled and angry after seeing the photographs in the newspaper of a maskless Vice President and his staff members standing in front of a rehabilitation community. Thank goodness all the people from the facility were wearing masks. The following day, one of the Vice President’s staff members turned positive for Co-Vid-19. We will never know whether someone was infected in front of that building, but why oh why would anybody even take the chance?
Many friends and acquaintances are, like me, worry about the survival of fragile elderly parents as we simultaneously navigate steps to preserve our own health during what feels like an unending CoVid-10 crisis. I cannot imagine what a person with a parent or family member in that Alexandria, Virginia rehabilitation community must have thought and felt upon seeing the pictures of maskless people right out in front of the facility where a family member is receiving care.
With a mom or dad or husband or wife in that rehab community, and the coronavirus just waiting to stealthily creep into the facility, some must have cried out in fear and frustration.