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Crocher: Rather death by COVID than death by loneliness

Crocher: Rather death by COVID than death by loneliness

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COVID-19 Testing

Lab technician Rob Chrisensen prepares specimen samples for coronavirus testing at the Wyoming Public Health Laboratory in Cheyenne Friday, Sept. 4. Any identifying patient info has been edited out of the photo.

We, the residents at Garden Square Assisted Living are writing to ask you to please consider opening the assisted living and nursing homes. We understand your desire to protect those of us with significant comorbidities and we are grateful for the measures put in place to prolong our lives. However, we are suffering.

Since the start of our lockdown, we have, as well as our peers, seen a significant decline in our will to live. The depression we suffer from not being able to see our loved ones face-to-face, hug them, hold our precious grandbabies, is taking its toll on us. Our anxiety grows daily as the threat of death continues to creep up, wondering if we will feel our families embrace before death.

We were raised to respect our elders and to let their wisdom guide us. We raised our children to conduct their lives in this manner as well. However, our wishes, our freedom and our quality of life is disrespected daily by this lockdown. We were never asked how we felt about it or which we would prefer. Many of us have gotten together and we all agree that we would rather risk death by COVID than death by loneliness.

We are unable to understand why the staff is permitted to come and go, yet we are not. Each day we are required to trust that the staff leaves this facility and makes the right choices. That they will wear masks, stay six feet apart and wash their hands as often as possible. Our lives are literally in their hands. We believe the staff at Garden Square loves us and would not do anything to harm us. But more than the staff at Garden Square, we trust our family members, yet they are not permitted. Can you please explain the logic behind this? The staff leaves every day to see their family members, can you tell us why we deserve to be treated differently?

We often wonder if you all have read the Resident Rights because we have. They seem to be especially important, yet we feel they’re violated every day that these orders stay in place. Just because we are old does not mean we are incompetent. We have lived through things this generation cannot imagine. When did becoming old make you less of a human being? Are we all not equal?

There have been numerous studies conducted about human touch and its importance. This is truly killing us. We hope you hear our pleas and consider opening long-term care facilities because we deserve what is left of our lives to be joyous and filled with family, friends and happiness.

We appreciate you taking the time to hear our concerns and we look forward to hearing from you.

Deborah Crocher moved to Wyoming in mid-July to be near her daughter and grandkids.

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