A Ton Of Prevention Is Worth A Gram Of Cure

Went to Regions to visit a relative who is recovering from a heart attack.  New Covid rules: only one visitor per day.  Not one visitor at a time –  one per day.  If her spouse visits from 10 am – noon, nobody else can visit until 10 the next day when visiting hours start again.

Visitor must wear a mask at all times; must stay in the patient room, use the bathroom there; cannot bring in food or drink but must order from room service and pay by credit card; must leave by 8:00 pm and cannot stay overnight no matter how much the patient begs not to be left alone in the hospital. 

Turns out it’s not only the hospital.  Different relative dying of cancer in a long-term care facility cannot have visitors at all, not even with masks and social distancing.  Might bring in Covid so she spends her days dying alone. 

Covid, you see.  Science.  What am I, a science denier?  Do I want people in the hospital to die? Do I want to kill old people in the nursing home?

Not necessarily.  But heart disease and cancer aren’t the only things that people die from.  People can die of loneliness, too, and from hopelessness. 

Joe Doakes

In the meantime, some facilities have radically different rules. Some long term care facilities are pretty much open (with precaution similar to but less than the ones Jo described in the hospital, above); others, like Joe says, are in full blown lockdown mode.


5 thoughts on “A Ton Of Prevention Is Worth A Gram Of Cure

  1. I get what you’re saying JD. From my perspective, the hospital visiting policies of around 10 years ago were way too loose. After a couple of attempted baby abductions limits on visitors to maternity went in place. Given the fact that respiratory pathogens like influenza were out and about it would have been sensible to restrict visits to medical/surgical wards during the winter but nobody paid attention. Covid brought a massive over correction. My wife had elective gall bladder surgery a year ago after six weeks postponement and I chatted with the surgeon (a colleague) about the OR protocol. He couldn’t begin the procedure until the air had been exchanged twice through a positive pressure system, despite my wife having no symptoms and a negative Covid test. I was grateful that she got the surgery done before she got a complication like pancreatitis. Lots of people weren’t so lucky. Part of the excess deaths during Covid are people who couldn’t get in to see a doctor or psychiatric help. Nobody published that body count unfortunately.

  2. I spent a lot of time at United in St. Paul between January and March through a series of serious incidents with a family member. After sitting in the ER waiting area for three and a half hours, squeezed in with people coughing, shaking, and puking inches away from us before finally getting into a treatment room, we ran into the “one visitor a day” rule. We had to work out a schedule for who would be the “one” each day. We were allowed to take off the mask (or at least not hectored) in the room, and the cafeteria was open (and did a great job, and the food was a lot better than what came from “room service”). I thank God, literally, that all turned out well, but it was an interesting experience to have the COVID protocols added to the stress of having to be in the hospital in the first place.

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