Corona Virus is changing where we might be, what we are choosing to do, or what we are restricted from following through with in order to protect the health of others.
This is not a complaint. But it has come to signify postponing meaningful work or gatherings in person, especially with the vulnerable who depend on the presence of family and others who support them.
Circumstances have already created loss and a sense of abandonment for our elders worldwide. You may recall the sad circumstances of elders alone in ICU’s in Italy, as well as in assisted living homes in Georgia and Washington State in recent days where family members may not enter to hold their loved ones as they make their transitions.
Note: This post is being written from Jalisco, Mexico where I have been attending to older adults.
The state of Jalisco (second largest state with Guadalajara as its capital), lead by Governor Alfaro and public health officials, is doing its best to tame the rise of Corona virus. There are several cases throughout the state, reportedly brought in by a group of wealthy Mexicans who traveled to Colorado to ski in mid-March or by travelers (foreign and Mexican) returning from Germany, Italy, and Spain. All persons except those in necessary services have been asked to stay inside through March 29 except for buying provisions or medicine. No travel unless necessary is another request. It is likely the date will be extended. Borders are still open but flights to other nations have diminished. So far, not a single assisted living home in Jalisco has reported a case of the Corona virus.
I had plans to see colleagues in the Mexican highlands and then return home to California. Plans have changed.
I wish to thank several colleagues whom I was going to meet with or revisit in March and early April – folks dedicated to the well-being of older adults. May we meet again soon.
1001 thanks to Lydia Jane Failing, Francoise Yohalem, and Rev. Tom Roseillo of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship outreach in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Warmest greetings and blessings to each of you, your fellowship, and your community-at-large.
I so appreciated your kind invitation to participate in the seminar “Thoughtful Dying in Mexico” with other colleagues March 20, even though it was necessary to postpone as a form of protection for all. My topic was to have been spiritual aspects of dying in Mexico based on psycho-social-spiritual support of older adults at Lake Chapala, plus my involvement with a palliative care mission in Guadalajara.
My thanks also to the owners of assisted living homes in San Miguel de Allende and Cuernavaca who were waiting for me, as well as to hospice nurse Elena Lopez of Hola Hospice and Luz Serena, an assisted living home in central Morelia with two rooms offering American standard hospice. I look forward to visiting all of you and writing about your dedication to quality of life for older adults on other dates.
Many thanks to Café Mortality colleagues Debi Buckland, Jane Castleman, Loretta Downs, and Darryl Painter for their dedication at Lake Chapala. We cancelled gatherings for March and April for public health reasons.
Discussions of our wishes and mortality, especially at this time of crisis, may have been meaningful for attendees, not to mention this co-host. We will find other ways to reach out through Facebook posts and more.
And, last but not least, a big shout out to my care liaison colleague in San Miguel de Allende, Deborah Bickel of www.BeWellSanMiguel.com who is deluged with requests for assistance at this time. Deborah’s colleague, nurse practitioner Sue Leonard, was to have been on the UU Fellowship morning panel on March 20.
Where ever you are and whomever you are I pray you are safe, comfortable, and remembering to breathe. As we reflect on the health of those around us, our own health, and new ways to reach out, let us remember the greater dangers for those less fortunate – the elderly, the homeless, and immigrants on the road, in camps, or in cages.
Please remember our healthcare workers, first responders, drivers, and food purveyors.
Please consider volunteering by sending money to a cause dear to your heart and/or healing thoughts for everyone on your path and on the planet.
And, remember to keep reading inspiring stories if you choose about nail salons converting to sewing centers to make masks, the Chinese manufacturer who sent medical masks in crates to healthcare workers in Italy with a poem by Seneca, the Italians who sing on their balconies to each other, the Spaniards who stand on their balconies applauding healthcare workers as they go off shift at a nearby hospital, the small businesses and their drivers offering take-out throughout the world, and thousands of other folks who make sacrifices as they continue to show up for others.