Behind every Covid hospitalization or death statistic, you will find many people like me who are the family members, friends, colleagues, or neighbors of somebody who is hospitalized with Covid. Those who couldn’t be by their loved one’s deathbed may live with the pain and regret for the rest of their lives, a kind of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

My father was hospitalized for Covid-19. We could do video calls but we could not visit in person. My father is hard of hearing and speaks poor English. Pre covid, when my dad was in the hospital, a family member was always with him so that he understood what was going on and didn’t feel alone. I have slept in uncomfortable chairs in hospital rooms many times. But this time, no one from the family could be by his side to console him. My biggest fear was that he would die without us being able to hold his hand or hug him so that he would know that his loved ones were near him. Even when people are allowed to make end-of-life visits, not all of the family members and close friends will risk visiting someone with Covid because they can’t afford to get infected with the virus.

You are lucky if the hospital has a good enough Wi-Fi connection and the staff has time to set up a video call. Sometimes, the nurses and doctors have to use their personal smartphones to make a video call. Some patients die alone without any contact with their loved ones.

They are surrounded by machines and people they can’t even recognize because all of the medical staff is covered in two masks and a face shield and may have so much protective equipment on that they may look like they are wearing a spacesuit.

Covid ain’t no hoax. It’s real. It’s cruel. It’s robbing people of their dignity in death.

I am sharing my story so that you will see how not wearing a mask, not practicing social distancing and not practicing good hygiene is leading to the virus spreading and more people getting hospitalized and dying cruel lonely deaths.

Imagine if that were you in the hospital bed. You are all alone. You have nobody to talk to. You may not understand what is happening.  Imagine if the person dying of Covid were one of your close family members, friends or loved ones.

Luckily my father was discharged from the hospital but that’s not the case for many people. The death rates keep on climbing and the virus is mutating.

Be nice to the medical staff. They are risking their lives and some are dying trying to save your loved ones’ lives. I brought food to the hospital staff as a small token of my family’s gratitude.

Take this pandemic seriously.

I assure you that you don’t want to live with the fear of leaving your loved ones to die alone.