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The flickering light at the end of the tunnel

23 Jul 2021

These days have not been easy. It has been a year when our elderly have suffered a lot, being kept away from their loved ones and from their freedom. Some have suffered isolation and depression, others because of cognitive decline have forgotten their loved one’s faces. It is all the result of COVID and the measures we were asked to take, and the sacrifices they made, in order to safeguard their health.

In these last weeks we have been allowed more leeway. We have introduced more visiting hours and more visitors to visit the elderly, if vaccinated. Rooms have once again become meeting places where loved ones meet, with restrictions still in place and Homes still very stringent on infection control and the wearing of masks and social distancing. Towards mid-July vaccinated residents can start going out again unaccompanied. Once again they will be allowed to do whatever it is they like doing in the outside world and not within the four walls of a care home.

Everyone has done so much sacrifices to keep them safe. The biggest sacrifices were done by the elderly themselves even though the result at times was costly to their mental health. I pray that all these sacrifices will not all go to waste. Our front-liners are beginning to breathe a bit again. We are all starting to see, albeit a flickering one, a light at the end of the tunnel. Because it is a weak light. One which can be put out easily by the irresponsibility of some. I recognise that everyone is hungry for life to become normal again. Everyone is thirsty for normality. But we would be stupid to think that normality exists without abiding to what we have learnt or been educated about in these last months. Normality cannot be achieved if people continue to refuse to be vaccinated or to follow public health instructions. There is a new “normal”, one that requires one to be cautious and not reckless, because a moment of recklessness can cost us a lot. A moment of recklessness or irresponsibility can lead to the loss of priceless things like freedom for us and more so our elderly, separation once again from loved ones, or even loss of life itself.

We are not in the world alone. Now more than ever the sense of social responsibility should reign and be top of everyone’s agenda. We owe it to our vulnerable and to our front-liners. We owe it to all those who lost their livelihood as they were forced to close down or go back to their country, as there was no work for them. We owe it to ourselves and our children so that maybe they can start living and enjoying their childhood. We owe it to our teenagers so that maybe they can start living the best years of their life. We also owe it to all those who lost their lives or the life of their loved one through COVID.  Let us therefore please all take the decision to be responsible in our actions so that the light at the end of the tunnel will remain flickering and not die out but become brighter as we get less and less of this virus transmission.

Charmaine Montesin

AX Care General Manager