People are dying from the COVID-19 virus itself, but what about those passing away as a result of the circumstances the regulations have impressed upon them? A closer look at the latter....

I received the news last night that my surrogate-grandmother (my blood-related grandmother's best friend who has essentially been my grandmother my entire life) has been placed on hospice. Now, they believe she's only got a matter of days before she goes home to Jesus. She's 92-years-old and has impacted so many people with her unfailing faith and kindness that she's no doubt fulfilled her purpose here on this earth. I'm not God by any means, but I know she's ready to move on to her heavenly home.

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With that being said, I can't help but replay something my cousin, her daughter, said in my head earlier this afternoon while I was over at her home saying my goodbyes. She said "is Mom dying of COVID-19 itself, no. But, I do believe she's dying due to the COVID-19 circumstances." Aunt Peg (that's what I call her) was in the hospital last week because she fell while in her nursing home out of fear that she could have broken a bone. Now, mind you, she's got some other health problems as well, but they aren't the reason for her hospitalization.

I discovered last night that things deteriorated quickly for her while in the hospital due to the staff being worked to the bone, nurses unable to walk or turn their patients like they normally would (through no fault of their own, mind you), and other various COVID-19 imposed circumstances within the hospital walls. My cousin (who also happens to be a nurse) said that Aunt Peg's deterioration began long before she was hospitalized. As a result of COVID-19 protocols put in place at Aunt Peg's nursing home, she's had minimal contact with family over the last year. Also, the home is so understaffed that the residents aren't receiving the level of attention or care that families are paying for (especially at this extremely nice one).

So, with little to no human interaction for the last year combined with less-than-adequate care, it's no wonder her mind started to become impacted by the repercussions of the coronavirus. My grandmom will most likely not make it through the weekend. If she does, then it's by the grace of God. At first, I didn't understand what my cousin meant when she said "death from COVID circumstances", but upon further reflection, I get it now. If it weren't for the pandemic, she would be receiving the care she needs on a daily basis, maintaining her physical therapy routine, keeping her mind sharp through interaction with family, friends, and neighbors. However, as a result of the circumstances, she's essentially been confined to one room over the last year with little-to-no stimulation.

With that being said, the vaccine may begin to curb the COVID-19 numbers and that's great, but keep in mind, the numbers are flawed in the first place. They should actually be higher. People who've passed on this year may not have died as a direct result of COVID-19, but it definitely played a role, positive test or not.


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