As the pandemic of the novel coronavirus rages on, a sweeping number of critical patients contracted the virus after being exposed by someone close to them — usually a loved one.
And for surviving family members and friends — this guilt can be gut-wrenching. According to one report out of California’s Los Angeles County this week, it has led to swaths of young people apologizing to their dying relatives for causing the exposure that has robbed their life.
This information surfaced during a press conference held in Los Angeles on Monday, January 11.
Los Angeles County has faced a recent resurgence in coronavirus cases, which many believe are directly correlated to private family gatherings held over the holidays, causing a massive uptick in both cases and deaths.
County Supervisor Hilda Solis informed reporters how the situation “is more dire than ever before,” and urged the public to wear masks, social distance, as well as shelter in place as much as possible.
She then gave a stark statement: “Dying from COVID in the hospital means dying alone.”
Sadly, many have experienced this not just in the U.S. but across the globe.
Often times, due to strict hospital protocols and fears of spreading the virus further, visitors are forbidden to be inside hospitals.
This results in patients saying goodbye to their loved ones over FaceTime. While others, who are hooked up to ventilators and unconscious for many of their last days, never get the chance to say their final peace.
And for those who are not able to have that final conversation with loved ones is heartbreaking, to say the least.
“One of the more heartbreaking conversations that our health care workers share is about these last words when children apologize to their parents and grandparents for bringing COVID into their homes, for getting them sick,” shared Solis.
“And these apologies are just some of the last words that loved ones will ever hear as they die alone.”
And while both children and teens are considered to be less vulnerable to the virus — they are not immune. Close to 2.68 million American children have tested positive for the coronavirus, as of January 21, and it is believed that the real number of pediatric cases is actually higher as children usually experience mild symptoms or no symptoms at al.
In addition, they are also less likely to be tested — which is why many experts have theorized how young children are the “silent carriers” of the virus.
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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