I fear my mother will be a casualty of the rigid rules of social distancing

Pre-quarantine, I visited my mother twice a day in our retirement home. Now her health is growing worse.

SHARE I fear my mother will be a casualty of the rigid rules of social distancing

A woman in Watermael-Boitsford, Belgium, rides a crane up to a window outside a senior living home so that she can visit her aunt during her country’s pandemic lockdown.

Virginia Mayo/AP

As we debate how to respond to this pandemic, here’s another argument in favor of moving forward aggressively with a recovery from the lockdown: the control casualties. By this I mean the illnesses and deaths that are directly attributable to the lockdown itself, not to the coronavirus.

There definitely is such a factor working on the hearts and minds of the high risk institutionalized elderly, and I would submit my 99-year-old mother’s case as evidence.

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Before the quarantine, I was visiting her twice a day in our retirement home, and she was holding her own in terms of her health. She is vision-impaired, hearing-impaired, arthritic and suffering from mild dementia, certainly, but for 13 years in two homes she had largely been able to avoid hospital stays for life-threatening problems. Plus, her interaction with me seemed to greatly help in minimizing her spells of confusion.

But now, during our relatively brief period of enforced separation — I live on a lower floor while she lives up on an assisted living floor — she has contracted pneumonia, for which she has been in and out of hospital, and her spells of confusion seem to be worsening. Symptomatic, doubtless, of the unprecedented disorientation. 

My mother remains among the living today, but for how long if she remains so isolated? Now multiply this single case by all the other seniors around the country who have seen their precious interactive routines disappear. It is a situation that many of them, given their cognitive limitations, have difficulty grasping.

This potentially lethal hardship is worth noting when we are formulating pandemic recovery plans. The cure of the quarantine shouldn’t cost more than the contagion itself, should it?

Tom Gregg, Niles

Our hypocritical local leaders

Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot are threatening businesses that disregard their proclamations to remain closed. But they have no problem ignoring actual federal laws that require cities and states to turn over criminal illegals to ICE to be deported. And they have the nerve to criticize President Donald Trump for threatening to withhold federal money from them for breaking these laws.

Biggest hypocrites ever. 

Mike Daly, Grayslake 

Can’t regulate idiocy

It appears that idiocy cannot be regulated with legislation. Citizens of these United States just aren’t accustomed to following rules, so when elected officials attempt to rule on their behalf — for their own health and safety — they rebel. Because money drives this country.

The coronavirus will continue to spread because we’re just not accustomed to following the law. The current leader of our country is a prime example of the problem.

Edwina Jackson, Longwood Manor

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