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SARS CoV2 aka COVID-19: Are we Moving into New Acceptance of Inhumane and Cruel Rules for Those NOT Infected?

See the email from an elderly reader of this site further below.

There are a number of issues related to pandemic response that demand thoughtful discussion. This country (and the world) badly need reasoned debate on these topics. Yet the entire news media (at least all the prominent) is beyond contemptible for not doing anything here, indeed the news media seems incapable of asking a single intelligent question about anything.

  • The United States constitution does not make allowances for pandemics, certainly not the degree to which basic rights can be violated. I know the Supreme Court has its methods of waiting for things to show up after years of lower court rulings, but the nine justices need to get off their asses and suggest some ground rules that need not carry the force of law, but at least offer guidance on what is likely to be appropriate, or not, at the state and local and federal level.
  • Forcibly preventing people from seeing their loved ones, with their loved ones dying alone is cruel and inhumane IMO. And preventing contact itself may contribute to death (loss of hope, etc).
  • Arbitrary and crude measures taken by governors, mayors, police can be abusive, illogical and indeed “police state” tactics. All 'stick' and no 'carrot' and no appeal to patriotism or kindness or compassion.
  • There is a difference between being careless and taking solid measures to protect oneself and others. The authorities do not seem to understand this distinction.
  • Risk reduction seems to be remaining at the level of “as crude as possible”. Even when outright lying is not the case.
  • There is severe suffering among millions not infected by the virus, raising the issues of competing rights. My rights stop where yours begin and vice versa. Fact is, many people are going to die regardless of what is done, and some are going to have lives impacted for a long, long time. Some debate on what the balance needs to be should be happening, but I see no worthwhile debate.
  • Financial disaster created by a de-facto gun (the government) demands compensation, whether it is someone working hand-to-mouth who can no longer work, or a doctor whose specialty is shut down but has $4000/month loans just for medical school to pay off. It is basically eminent domain with no compensation. The current situation is increasingly cruel to anyone in these types of situations.

Reader comment

This reader has offered to have his name used, but I have chosen to substitute “my wife” and “she” for her name, and elide the city.

Hi Mr. Chambers, I am a long-time subscriber to your website.

I am a septuagenarian living in **********, CA. My 86 year-old wife had a stroke three years ago. Prior to the stroke my wife, and I were cyclists (not in your class) and had travelled 3-4 months a year visiting over 100 countries in 25 years. I cared for her at home by myself for two years. (unable to talk, lost short term memory, dementia, walked only with my help, incontinent, etc.)

In March 2019 she suddenly could not stand at all so I put her in a nursing home with a private room and private entrance to her own little patio. Average nursing home in ********** costs over $9,000 a month. My wife’s nursing home is luxurious like the Hilton and provides specially cooked meals for each of six patients. However it is largely custodial. I visited her every day. Set up a 24/7 giant digital picture frame of all our activities for the last 30 years to enhance her memory. Took her out in the wheelchair nearly every day to stores and parks. Had her favorite British movies and music playing in the room. She communicates by writing notes.

Had to hire an expensive top LB attorney to fight off her criminally insane children who wanted to take my wife home to conserve their inheritance. I won.

My wife now is in hospice in the same nursing home. However, visitors are no longer allowed due to Coronavirus hysteria. She is on 24/7 oxygen with interstitial lung disease. The staff seemed scared and overwhelmed. Luckily her room has its own heating/AC system. I have been allowed only three Facetime phone calls. My doctor had ordered me to stay home.

I still do photographing and cycling every day (avoiding people.) Had pneumonia four years ago almost dying. Recovered fully. Am still quite active. Have everything delivered to our condo on the beach. Bought the 3M N100 mask you recommended.

Nursing home even forbids me from sending flowers to her. I am afraid she may die before I see her again. But others have total power over the interactions between my wife and me.

If you print this, please do not use my real name or location [diglloyd: rescinded but I have chosen to elide/alter anyway]. Thank for your courageous work analyzing the abuses and failures of handling the Coronavirus "pandemic." I believe the "pandemic" is being used for ulterior purposes.

DIGLLOYD: this is a heartbreaking story. Is this how our society is going to deal with challenges like this?

At older ages, human relationships take on more and more significance. So when these are cut off, it is very significant—far more than a simple medical decision.

I cannot think of any rational basis for denying a husband the right to see his wife in this situation, particularly in a private room. At the least, could not he visit her outdoors, thus never entering the building? The staff is almost certainly a far larger risk than the husband. Surely this is one reason we need those very fast Coronavirus tests.

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