Friday, June 14, 2024

‘You’re our hero:’ messages of love and support find their way to isolated patients

The isolation necessary to avoid spreading the coronavirus only compounds the suffering of those being treated for Covid-19, but concerned loved ones outside one Mexico City hospital have found ways to send messages of love and support.

The La Raza Hospital for Infectious Diseases has implemented a no-visitation policy during the crisis, but it cannot stop family members from gathering in the street outside to wait for any information on the conditions of their loved ones.

In lieu of face-to-face visits, they are allowed to give the hospital staff small items such as bottles of water, toothpaste and toilet paper, all of which have become a medium for writing messages of love, support and encouragement to their sick relatives.

“The worry and exhaustion of being here day and night aren’t as big as the sadness of not being able to see my father’s face. The last time I saw him was when he passed through the doors of the hospital,” said María del Carmen, who waited for eight days outside the hospital for word on the 68-year-old.

Still without an official positive or negative diagnosis for Covid-19, she said “there’s nothing left for us to do but ask that God’s will be done.”

La Raza hospital staff come out to update families on the conditions of their loved ones between noon and 3:00 p.m. each day, and those outside take advantage of the opportunity to get even just a few words passed on to the patients.

In an age when a message can cross the globe in seconds, the only way these families are able to communicate is via short, emotional notes such as “We love you so much,” “You’re our hero,” and “Your wife and kids love you” written on the packaging of small personal items.

“It gives you goosebumps,” said María Cristina, whose husband is currently recovering from Covid-19. “This is the only way we’re able to send them a small message, a small incentive to carry on because they also get discouraged and depressed because they can’t see us.”

For some, however, even this pandemic-inspired life hack is not an option to let their loved ones know they’re not alone.

Although her husband has been intubated and put into a medically induced coma, Rosario still wrote “I love you, sweetie,” on a bottle of water in hopes he’ll soon be able to read it.

“It’s distressing,” she said.

The hospital staff-turned-couriers have comforted the families waiting outside by assuring them that the small notes of love and encouragement are breaths of fresh air for those battling the virulent respiratory disease inside.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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