As we say goodbye to 2020 with all the political hype, riots, racial injustice, and pandemic chaos, the thing to remember is God’s grace, His mercy, and His presence are with us through it all. Our hope is in Him. These have been bad times. We live in an unjust, suffering, stormy world. God may not always calm the storm, but it is He who always calms me.
The pandemic is world wide. People have been sick, and many have died. Others lost employment and are strapped for finances, while still others have lost time with their families while trying to fill shifts on the front lines. Nearly everyone has experienced loss of some sort this year.
For me, even the loss of life has not been as widespread and heartbreaking as those who suffer the loss of freedom and connection with others. Of those who have died alone. Hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities have established policies to protect their patients and residents; but in doing so, leave them isolated, confused, alone and imprisoned in their rooms. The four walls close in around them with only the busy staff to connect with human contact a few times a day.
Let me share a story.
This story has a common thread of many I’ve heard, and one you or your family may have even experienced this past year. As always, the names and circumstances have been altered to protect the identities of the patient and their family.
“Dad had a stroke and was in the hospital when my husband came down with COVID-19. At seventy-five-years old, and with a heart condition, we couldn’t let dad come back home to our house yet for fear he’d contract COVID too. Besides, we were told he’d benefit from the Rehab he could receive in a skilled nursing facility.
Unfortunately, the protocol at the facility was to place all new admissions on the COVID wing to quarantine for fourteen days before allowing them to enter the mainstream activity of the facility (which was limited). This also meant we were unable to visit him. He became confused, agitated, and angry. He refused to participate in therapy and though we spoke on the phone (when a nurse had time to let him use her personal cell to call us), dad insisted we had abandoned him and left him homeless.
To complicate matters further, he ended up testing positive for COVID anyway, and went back in the hospital where he spent two weeks in ICU, part of the time on a vent. I thought he might die and without my being able to see him and assure him he was loved. The doctor recommended hospice. Though he still tested positive for COVID-19, we were at least able to take him home. We decided the risk of COVID-19 was not as bad as the risk of his continued confusion and the fear of his dying alone. I would never forgive myself. We knew we would all be quarantined, but it was worth it. This time we were together. I thank God we were able to bring him home and he has recovered. Our fear of the disease robbed us of freedom.”
We face uncertain days in 2021
But every day is uncertain—always has been. Who expected 2020 to be the year of a pandemic? Who expected 9/11 terrorists to strike? Or Hurricane Katrina? Life is unpredictable. Our health can fluctuate from athletic to bed bound in minutes. Our economy can become unstable as can our relationships.
Only one thing is certain.
Only one thing is predictable: God’s unending love and His eternal presence. If your loved one is in isolation/quarantine, remind them that He is there with them. Neither they, nor we, walk through troubled times alone. (Psalm 23 )
Have you experienced the negative affects of isolation/quarantine? Social distancing?
Remember, wherever you are, you are at the right place when you come to my website and read my blog. Come on back and share of slice of life with me.