A group of longterm-care residents was protesting outside of a Greeley, Colorado nursing home in opposition to the strict lockdown restrictions keeping them from seeing their families.
About 20 of the residents, some in wheelchairs, gathered outside of the Fairacres Manor on Thursday, according to CBS4 of Denver. They held signs that read captions such as "Prisoners in our own home" and "Give us freedom."
Perhaps the most powerful sign said she would rather die form COVID-19 than loneliness.
Governor Jared Polis released the following statement addressing the issue:
“We absolutely understand how difficult it has been for residents of residential care facilities and their families. Social interaction is essential to physical and mental health, and so we have provided guidance to residential care facilities that allows for that interaction while also keeping residents safe from COVID-19. Restrictions have been in place previously, but residents are now able to visit loved ones both indoors and outdoors. In addition, we are doing everything possible to help long-term care facilities mitigate and prevent the spread of COVID-19 by working directly with facilities on proper infection control practices that have been proven to slow the spread of COVID-19.”
“We used to be lucky here at Fairacres to show each other what we mean to one another and we cannot do that anymore,” said Resident Council President Sharon Peterson, who is 75 years old. “Fairacres follows the rules and, with that, we think they would keep us safe while being able to be with our families again.”
“We did this because one thing we have to look forward to is a simple hug,” Peterson continued. “It gives us meaning.”
Staff members were present during the protest to offer support and keep the residents safe.
“We want them to know that their voice does matter,” Ben Gonzales, an assistant administrator at Fairaces Manor said.
The pandemic has affected so many people in so many different ways. The lockdowns are keeping people in their last days from spending time with their loved ones.
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