On November 07, 2020, my mother passed away at the grand age of 90. To say that the last 9 months of her life were anything but torturous is not exaggerating. Not only do I believe the lockdowns and other restrictions hastened her death, but I also believe they severely degraded the quality of her last few months of life.
My mother suffered from mild vascular dementia prior to March of 2020. She was a resident of a retirement home. When the restrictions came into effect in March, her mental health deteriorated. No longer able to socialize normally, dine communally and confronted daily by (unrecognizable masked, gloved and gowned) staff telling her to wear a mask and stay in her room; or, see her family, except via window or virtual visits, she became convinced that she was a prisoner. Which, in fact, she was a prisoner!
Around Victoria Day in May, she ended up in hospital, physically exhausted and delirious. She stayed about a week. She was put on anti-psychotic drugs and transferred back to her residence. In her mental state, her anger was occasionally directed at her family for putting her in this situation.
The drugs worked for a time, but she sought escape, and became the subject of one police search and she called 911 twice. The retirement home could not cope with her exit seeking, so in a coordinated effort with us and social services, my Mom was put on the emergency list for long term care (LTC) in June. She died while waiting on the “emergency” list, due to what I can only assume is the paralysis of the LTC system exacerbated by COVID protocols. The summer offered some respite as we could now meet with her outside and take her places. We broke various COVID “rules” to do this. We celebrated her 90th birthday in such a manner.
She was in and out of the hospital a few times before she ended up there the final time in November. Ironically, on her final visit she was admitted to the COVID floor with only a single COVID patient on the floor. Although she never had COVID, it was the only bed available. We were, fortunately, allowed to visit her in her final week, but under the constant fear that we would be kicked out for COVID safety reasons. Her heart was strong, but she wanted out of this life. She held out more than a week after four doctors told us she had less than 24 hours to live. Doctors are fallible you should know.
From my story I hope you can appreciate that COVID abatement cannot be the only priority. Life must be worth living. Our government’s panicked response to COVID has robbed millions of people of their freedoms, their wealth, their employment, and their enjoyment of life. All this to protect a minority of the elderly, who if individually given the choice, would have been glad to take their chances with a potentially lethal virus.
I hope in the future, when all the numbers are in, we can evaluate the roles of the public health officials, the media and the government in creating this COVID hysteria. I think that any member of the current government will have to bring themselves and their advisors to account.