Hospital bars husband from visiting his wife

Dear Editor:

I have been married for 56 years, and the last three years due to a severe incurable disease she now has, I have been her sole caregiver.

Last week, she had a stroke and after having a brain scan, it was determined she had a 80% blockage in her left carotid artery. They booked her in for the procedure on Tuesday. On our return to have her operation, I looked after her and got her changed into the hospital gown and was able to stay with her until they took her into the operation room.

The surgeon informed me the procedure would take 1-1.5 hours, that she would be in recovery for approximately 3-4 hours and that he would call me when she was moved into her room and then I could come back to see her.

I received the call and went to the hospital to see her and stay with her until the end of visiting hours.

That’s when I got the biggest shock of my life when I was told I could not see her because I was not considered “essential to her care.”

A person screening visitors at the door gave me a number to call and I was told I couldn’t see her unless she was dying. What a terrible thing to say.

I tried to explain all the many things I need to do for her that no one else would know. I was told it was the manager’s rules and they could not be changed even by our surgeon and to try again tomorrow.

While sitting in the hospital entrance trying to make sense of all this I noticed many visitors coming and going and not wearing masks.

Meanwhile at 4 a.m., I’m sitting in my den unable to sleep, waiting until 8 a.m.

so that I can again start convincing the powers to be to let me visit my wife who now is very depressed not being able to see me.

What an insane world we live in.

Doyle Bray, Kelowna

Apt. buildings made of wood a greater fire hazard

Dear Editor:

Another wood-frame apartment building has gone up in flames, this time in Penticton with the loss of life.

Around a hundred years ago Winnipeg was experiencing the same problem with tragic consequences until it was mandated that all apartment buildings higher than two levels had to be constructed of brick and concrete.

Today there are literally hundreds of small four-level apartment buildings there, averaging perhaps 32 suites each. Most were built in the 1920s and 1930s, before higher steel frame and concrete apartment buildings with elevators became the vogue.

It seems that in the Okanagan, wood frame apartment buildings are still being erected by greedy and uncaring developers with the blessing of city councillors who give their approval to these potential fire traps. More disastrous fires are bound to follow with increasing frequency.

Fred B. Woodward, Kelowna

Conservatives keep pursuing baseless charges

Dear Editor:

If we listen to the opposition, one would think declaring an unexceptional motion as a matter of confidence was a sneaky trick to hide something.

But after filibustering, it was the only way left, under parliamentary rules for a minority government to draw a line in the sand to stop the baseless partisan demands and disparaging accusations and insinuations — particularly about companies and people who are not part of government and who can come to harm from this type of grand inquisition the Conservatives wanted to establish.

A scope so broad any private company and individual could be drawn into its dragnet — the prime minister and or any minister could be pulled away at the committee’s discretion any time to prepare and answer questions before what will surely be a hostile star chamber.

Governments have a duty to protect Canadians from such tyranny. Already a good man was forced to retire early and the successful WE charity was driven out of Canada by Conservative hounding, leaving thousands of Canadian youth with a sour taste for partisan politics.

The Conservatives’ brain-trust fondly remembers the mistake made by former prime minister Paul Martin when he agreed to set up the Gomery commission after baseless accusations from the opposition about Martin’s former political rival Jean Chretien.

The sponsorship inquisition arose from the narrowly-won 1995 sovereignty referendum in Quebec. It was Chrétien who successfully led this important existential fight to hold Canada together.

In 2008, federal courts quashed Gomery’s final report because the conclusions showed considerable bias towards Chrétien. 

Canadians can see that a kind of resurrection-fever has taken hold of Conservatives and its clear they only want to sandbag government, not help ordinary Canadians.

Jon Peter Christoff, West Kelowna  


Bigger questions should dominate public debate

Dear Editor:

“Words are like leaves; and where they most abound, Much Fruit of Sense beneath is rarely found.” These words written by Alexander Pope, published in 1711, came to mind as I followed the U.S. presidential debate, briefly.

The great questions of our time for leaders is something like this: “What is your understanding of what it means to be a human being? Before the, so-called modern enlightenment, there was a profound knowledge of the self. Sharp scrutiny of the self was made, clear things were said, deep relationships with the culture were opened up.

Today, through CBC and American news, in our own homes, we are taken out of our souls and invaded by fears, which have become the most pervasive element in the life of the modern citizen.

Nothing happens anymore without being noticed. The decisive point is that we must accept life — by whoever holds the camera — as normal. Even our literature — especially our novels — at their best a process of pleasant escape from drab lives, are now becoming pure scientific analyses.

The Canadian media, organizers of the public debate, have a consensus: It is OK to talk about the contribution of the religious truth as long as you implicitly agree that the whole is nonsense anyway, but it remains an interesting historic peculiarity and therefore an occasional talking point, especially if they are in decline.

The knowledge now provided by news people does not inspect for truth but analyses. It does not construct a picture of a united world, but its impossibility; like judging a play by its defects. Someone told me that all a Quebec politician knew about John the Baptist is that he is a patron of the province.

In Ireland, England, Russia and Europe during the Middle Ages (476-1520) it was the monasteries that brought people to a true understanding of what it is to be a human being on this earth. Jesus of Nazareth was sought there by people, with a relentless desire, and this included kings and people in leadership positions.

Henry VIII destroyed up to 800 of these monasteries because the Protestant reformation gave him the opportunity to seize their power and influence for himself.

We need to give a whole new dynamic to what it means to be a human being, enlisting and admitting again the cathedrals, churches, great religions and all people of good will who are capable of delivering truth.

Can our politicians deliver hope, meeting one another with a capacity for true brotherhood?

Fr. Harry Clarke. Penticton