Care-home visit rules should be relaxed a bit

Dear Editor:

I just received confirmation that next week visits with residents of care homes will begin, with conditions attached, as there should be.

Masks are mandatory and you must bring your own. Social distancing guidelines will be followed, no hugs or touching.

Visits will be limited to 30 minutes with only one family member allowed and visits are limited to one per family per week. And each visit will be supervised by a staff member. All of these guidelines have been put in place by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

I have no issue with any of these guidelines if visits are to be held inside a facility.

And I get the one visit per week rule if a staff member must be present for each and every person who comes to see a loved one.

However, upon receiving the visiting protocols from my husband’s care home, visits are going to be held in the large, covered area outside the front door, making entering the building itself completely unnecessary.

So if we are not entering the building but are visiting outdoors, are masked and are socially distant, why are we being limited to only one person per visit?

It makes little sense to me. It will also mean it will take eight weeks for my close knit family of children and grandchildren to each have the opportunity to spend time with their dad and papa before the cycle can start again.

My take on this: Relax the one person visiting rule to allow two or three people if all visits are being held in an outdoor space with no need to even step foot in the facility.

In the case of my husband, who is in the latter stages of Alzheimer’s, there is a much greater chance of some spark of recognition or awareness out of him if there is interaction going on between members of our family as opposed to just that one person sitting in front of him.

So although I am glad to see visits resume I believe some leeway should be granted to any outdoor visit that eliminates the need to step inside a care home and I hope that Dr. Henry will soon allow for this to happen.

Sheryl Theessen, Kelowna

Last year seems like it was a long time ago

Dear Editor:

Last year at spring break, I took my family to Seattle. We went to a Mariners exhibition game, the naming of T-Mobile Stadium, then went for a walk along the waterfront.

The game was great, we sat in left field in the spring sun. T-Mobile had several thousand employees at the game, easily recognizable decked out in their pink swag and a happy go lucky attitude. Blissfully enjoying one of the perks of the job working for one of the largest cellular providers in the United States.

We then walked the waterfront, up through Pike Place Market and then moseyed back around to our car.

While remiss to ignore the homeless population common in every large city, the Seattle we experienced that day was very happy and content. Everyone with a smile on their faces and happy to have my four kids plus a friend pet their dog. The market was active and vibrant although a weekday.

It was an amazing day.

Today, just over a year later, I wonder to myself, how many of those T-Mobile employees most recently populated the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.

No longer employed by a tech giant, cooped up in their homes with no prospects in the foreseeable future, they may have decided why not join the protesters.

I read somewhere that violence among human population historically does break out after six weeks of isolation. It is human nature. It is predictable and it is repeatable.

This is the cost of overdoing it.

This is due to COVID.

I thank my lucky stars we never did go this overboard in B.C. That the B.C. government had the foresight to recognize our largest blue-collar industries as essential. One can only imagine what would have happened had all of the construction workers been told they were no longer able to work.

I can tell you how long I personally would have been content to stay home and not work for $2,000 per month: one paycheque.

It’s no wonder King Justin keeps throwing money at us like it’s spaghetti on the wall, just hoping this next handful will stick. I wonder what happens when the money runs out.

Jeff Frank, Kelowna

‘Great president’ is killing off his own people

Dear Editor:

Re: Great president or the greatest president (letter to the editor, July 3, page A7).

Your reasoning Mr. Rayner, is why I lean towards misanthropic tendencies.

From Donald Trump’s chiselling away at the American Constitution, to gutting environmental regulations and glorifying coal, it’s obvious that he has as much foresight in governing a nation as a five-year-old in a candy store.

It sounds like the National Rifle Association is creating paranoia in an effort to support a corrupt government, not defend from one.

You forgot to mention the most important event taking place under your “great president’s” watch. The genocide of his own people.

Coming up on three million people infected with COVID-19.

The great president’s arrogance still fools some of the people some of the time.

Patricia Reid, West Kelowna

Fear causes addictions, moral decline

Dear Editor:

Fear has become the most pervasive element in the life of the modern citizen. Fear is the root of addictive behaviours, and fear is really the absence of faith.

As C.S. Lewis, said about the Narnia Chronicles: “it is likely that children will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage.”

A person who is avoiding life’s difficulties by numbing the everyday pain and fear of living, by surviving under a poultice of drugs and alcohol, is not growing in a manner that might remotely be described as normal.

Many are on our streets or destroying their families at home. Why have they come to fear living so much that they choose to wreck their lives and that of others, especially in families, that they choose to kill themselves slowly in the guise of enjoying ourselves? Any all this without any hope!

We need to evaluate the concept of having fun with which we destroy our young people and substitute for them the concept of inner peace, a different basis for life.

If the rising generations cannot fulfil their dreams on the sports field, or in work, they basically have had it, and drugs are the great hope for survival and this has become our most dangerous word.

The first responders to all this chaos are the police. Can you image what it is like dealing with domestic violence, where dignity, truth and reason has departed the scene?

Leviathan (2014) an award-winning Russian movie speaks of Russia’s moral decline. The director said what is going on in our streets is drinking, stealing and lying.

“They take drugs and vodka to save them from life’s agonies, to wash down sorrows and broken dreams, and the inability to use talents. Yet these people are more than liars, drunks and thieves. They love, they cry, they lose and they fall in love. After all, they are living people.”

Fr. Harry Clarke, Kelowna

Health-care system doesn’t seem so universal

Dear Editor:

Especially during the pandemic crisis, I’ve heard too many platitudinous praises of Canada’s supposed universality of health care.

I had tried accessing, for example, essential therapy coverage in our public system. There were/are health treatments that are either universally non-existent or, more likely, universally inaccessible, except to those with relatively high incomes and/or generous employer health insurance coverage.

Furthermore, Canada is the only universal-health-coverage country (theoretically, anyway) that doesn’t also cover medication.

The bitter irony is, many low-income outpatients cannot afford to fill their prescriptions and, resultantly, end up back in the hospital system, thus burdening the system more.

This lesson was learned and implemented by enlightened European nations with genuinely universal all-inclusive health care systems that also cover necessary medication.

Why Canada steadfastly refused to similarly do so, I know not. But I do know the only two health professions’ appointments for which I’m fully covered by the public health plan are the readily pharmaceutical-prescribing psychiatry and general practitioner health professions.

Such non-big-Pharma-benefiting health specialists as dentists, counsellors, therapists and naturopaths, etc., are not covered.

Frank Sterle Jr., White Rock

Letters to the editor should be 400 words or less. Preference is given to concise, emailed letters. Email: letters@ok.bc.ca