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My wife didn’t die of COVID-19, but of a broken heart | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Saturday’s letters to the editor.
FILE - In this July 17, 2020, file photo, Margaret Choinacki, 87, who has no other family members left because her husband and daughter have died, blows kisses to her friend Frances Reaves during a drive-by visit at Miami Jewish Health in Miami. Floridians will soon be allowed to visit loved ones in nursing homes after nearly six months of vulnerable seniors being cut off from family as Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020, that facilities could start a partial reopening. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)
FILE - In this July 17, 2020, file photo, Margaret Choinacki, 87, who has no other family members left because her husband and daughter have died, blows kisses to her friend Frances Reaves during a drive-by visit at Miami Jewish Health in Miami. Floridians will soon be allowed to visit loved ones in nursing homes after nearly six months of vulnerable seniors being cut off from family as Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020, that facilities could start a partial reopening. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File) [ WILFREDO LEE | AP ]
Published Nov. 28, 2020

Nursing home visitations

My wife died of a broken heart

The effects of COVID-19 have been far-reaching. I am writing this to call to attention one aspect of this disease that receives almost no consideration by the media and our elected officials.

Nursing homes were one of the hardest hit during this time. Protocols were quickly established to stop the spread of disease in these homes. Absent in all these rules was a reasonable plan to allow some restricted visits between the residents and their loved ones, who could only watch from the outside at a window.

My wife of 58 years was confined to a nursing home. She was unable to speak or walk, needing a wheelchair. However, she was mentally cognizant and understood her circumstances. The daily visits that I and our children made was the only event she had in her life that she looked forward to. When those visits were prohibited, her overall condition rapidly deteriorated. She lost weight and focus and the will to live. She was completely isolated from her loved ones. She became a vegetable and passed away in July, not from COVID-19, but from a broken heart.

I think it is reasonable to question why no protocols were established to provide limited and safe visitations. Zoom and like applications are a poor substitute for a hug or the squeeze of the hand. The home where she lived recently began trying outside visits with masks. This could have been done on day one of the pandemic.

The overall attitude was one of “We know it’s tough, but suck it up.” We all hear about the heartbreak and misery of those who died, but nothing was done for those who were denied access to their loved ones when most needed. Even now we hear admonishments about group gatherings and mask-wearing, but no mention of how to bring some relief to those patients and families who have been separated as though they were in prison.

It is too late for my family. I will never hold my wife again. Please give some consideration for those now in the same position.

John Cornacchia, Land O’ Lakes

What do Tampa Bay Republicans think about who won the election? | Nov. 25

It was all the same ballot

Many of our state’s elected officials take President Donald Trump’s position that the election was in many ways fraudulent. They insist that Trump should not concede and fight to the end, Jan. 20, Inauguration Day. However, none of them speak to their victory at the polls as resulting from fraud. After all, weren’t all the candidates’ names on the same ballot?

John Medeiros, Dunedin

Why should we have to pay for you? | Letters, Nov. 25

More educated is good for everyone

A recent reader complained about the possibility of student loans being forgiven in part by the government. The author blames the student for not calculating the costs of the education. He suggested that students attend community colleges to increase their value. Many professional careers — physicians, engineers, nursing, teachers, school principals, etc. — require extensive schooling and training. It is expensive to go to school, but education benefits the community.

During this pandemic, there is already a shortage of qualified nurses and physicians. I definitely feel secure in knowing that my physician received the extensive education required to be a doctor. This program would actually encourage people to get an education and be a productive and valuable member of society.

Don’t complain that life isn’t fair, but be confident knowing there will be more educated professionals in the community.

Sharon Chan, Oldsmar

Profiling kids | Nov. 22

Hindering, not helping

This article suggests that the police have already defined these kids “who are destined to a life of crime.” Indeed, the entire article shows that the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office is looking at children in a negative way, and thereby placing one more hurdle in front of these kids that they either must jump over, crawl around or have it trip them up. As I started to read this well-done article, I asked myself if they were using the information available in a way to help the children get out of that possibility, or as a way to confirm it and harass the children and their families from then on.

The article states that the information is used to offer resources and mentorship to at-risk youth. This is negated by parts of the Sheriff’s Office’s intelligence manual. This is really disgusting to me, a physician, who sees at-risk patients of all types. If, instead, the police used the information to meet with school officials, families of these children and possibly the students themselves, then potentially good could come of this information. They all could work together to see what is needed to change the course of the child’s life, and maybe that of the family’s.

But, no, it appears from the article and manual that negative is the name of the game — period. Watch them, harass them and their families, accuse them, and then sit back and watch what your labors have produced. Call it negative, call the child an offender, negatively interact in their life, and that is what you will get. The police will then pat themselves on the back for a job well done. This is disgusting, because by doing it your way, you have created a self-fulfilling prophecy.

If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. If you are looking for trouble, that’s what you’ll see. Instead, look for opportunities and explanations.

Shame on you, Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco. I am so very glad that I do not have children in the school system. No wonder some want to defund the police. When you have power and misuse that power, it should be taken from you.

Gail Dudley, Sun City Center