The protest was last week in Greeley, Colorado, where dozens of residents of a nursing home said they needed contact with their loved ones. “Rather die from COVID than loneliness,” some signs said. Today many states still maintain a ban on visits and residents have not seen their families for months.
As reported by CBS Denver, residents at a Greeley nursing and rehabilitation center staged a protest against restrictions imposed in the wake of the CCP Virus pandemic.
Residents organized in front of the facility, some standing while others were in wheelchairs with signs that read “Rather die from COVID than loneliness,” and “Prisoners in our own home,” and “Give us freedom.”
Ben Gonzales, one of the facility’s managers, said that residents are very upset with the rules imposed by the Department of Mental Health and express an enormous need for physical contact with their families and loved ones.
“They want to be able to hug their grandchildren, they want to be able to hold their loved ones’ hands,” Gonzales said.
Residents of the home can only see their family members at reduced hours, outdoors, with a limited number of visitors and within a distance of two meters, preventing all physical contact.
Staff members were present during the protest to support the residents and keep them safe. Among them was Gonzales, who was one of those who helped organize the protest.
The day after the protest, Colorado Democratic Gov. Jared Polis’s office, issued a statement saying that it understood the plight of the elderly in nursing homes and that the government was doing everything possible to prevent an increase in virus infections. His message completely avoided the complaint of the hospitalized patients and so far there has been no other response.
Other states, such as Florida, announced more than a month ago the lifting of the ban on visits to nursing homes.
When Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, announced at a press conference that the banning measure had expired, he said, “Part of having a healthy society is understanding that human beings seek affection.” He added, “Many of the folks understand that they have loved ones who are in the last stage of their life. They’re not demanding a medical miracle. They’re not having unrealistic expectations. They just would like to be able to say goodbye or to hug somebody.”
According to DeSantis, the decision was made following the recommendations of a working group on nursing homes.
As the professionals stated, although it is true that contracting the virus can imply a high risk for some inmates, the fact of not having contact with the relatives assures a serious mental disorder for the total of the residents.