I was perusing my e-mail inbox today and came across a tragic story of a dementia patient who was killed due to paranoia surrounding this outbreak. Here is the link to the story that outlines how an 86 year old woman died after grabbing hold of another patients IV pole to steady herself, but in so doing broke various social distancing mores. She was pushed by the patient, fell and hit her head and later died.
This story strikes home with me on so many levels. My father died of complications from Berylliosis, which caused many health issues finally including early onset Alzheimer’s and dementia. He wandered too. Mom would find him driving having found a set of keys somewhere after we took them all away…once that loophole closed, she would find his bike missing…finally he started just walking. Its not something you can control and everyone around does their very best to keep any sort of dangerous things away and watches all the time. Finally their bodies get to the point that they can’t roam…shortly thereafter death likely approaches. To say I feel sorry for both of these victims is an understatement. I know how shocking it can be to have someone invade your personal space and start talking two inches from your face. In any circumstance it is surprising. As most things in life, its all in how you deal with it. As we ramp up our fear of this enemy, lets not lose our humanity. A moment of kindness would have saved two lives.
Lets sow love, not hate…grace, not judgement…and caution, not fear. The virus is one unseen and largely uncontrollable enemy. However, we control how we respond. Be kind, be calm, LIVE, LIVE, LIVE…even in this time. Self-control, particularly in times of adversity, is one of the most challenging things to build as a person. However, if you can’t control yourself when times are tough, then there is no way it gets any better when your situation improves.