A year of gratitude, generosity, love

To the editor:

I recently read an article that asked, “What will be your story of 2020?” I’ve since given the question a lot of thought, and despite everything we’ve experienced this year I can’t help but see a silver lining: the very best in human nature is coming out in our community.

I see my co-workers gathering on weekends to prepare and deliver food boxes. I see the manager of Haywood Public Transit shopping for eggs and bananas to deliver to the homebound. I see the Senior Resource Center doing a drive-through Thanksgiving lunch, and I see my neighbors cooking and delivering holiday lunches to the Towers. Many people are doing good things to help others, and I’m so grateful to see this kindness and generosity — it warms my heart and brings tears to my eyes every time.

This Christmas the greatest gifts I’ve received are the people I work with every day and the recognition of the generous hearts of mountain people in action, supporting the most vulnerable among us.

As we wrap up this most unusual and challenging year, please continue to support nonprofit agencies and the important work we do. Every day we face food insecurity, rental evictions, children who need clothes, seniors who are unable to afford heat and medicine and sick people unable to transport and care for themselves. Nonprofits are in the business of helping others and your financial contributions help us bring peace to people with immediate and dire needs.

Thank you for the gracious generosity this community has shown the most vulnerable in Haywood and Jackson Counties. Those on the front lines of providing for basic human needs and support services will continue to deal with the pandemic long after the masks come off.

This is my story for 2020 — Community gratitude, generosity and love.

Patsy (Dowling) Davis, executive director

Mountain Projects

Waynesville

No visitor policy is inhumane

As founder of Medical Patient Modesty (www.patientmodesty.org), a non-profit organization that works to educate patients about their rights to dignity, privacy, and freedom from abuse in medical settings, I was very heartbroken that many hospitals in America, including Haywood Regional Medical Center, implemented a zero-visitor policy in March when the coronavirus pandemic began and again on Dec. 7.

While it is wonderful that HRMC allows labor and delivery patient to have one support person with them, all patients have the same right to one support person at all times as well. No patient should have to recover or even die alone.

Hospital administrators are responsible for controlling the spread of COVID-19, but the zero-visitor policy is too extreme and violates a patient’s rights.

A better solution would be requiring all patients’ visitors to: Undergo health screenings with temperature checks and special questionnaires; remain with the patient they are supporting and no interactions with other patients and wear masks.

Because of limited time devoted to each patient, it’s impossible for even the best medical professionals to provide personalized attention to each patient. Technology cannot substitute for in-person interaction, respectful advocacy, and the protection from abuse which (despite even best efforts by hospitals) can only be guaranteed by the constant presence of a loved one.

The zero-visitor policy, even during a pandemic, is inhumane and should never be implemented.

For many years, husbands were not allowed to be present for their wives’ C-Sections until a number of people challenged this policy. In the 1970s and 1980s, this policy changed because so many people voiced their opposition to this policy.

I encourage everyone, especially patients and their families and caring medical professionals, to challenge the zero-visitor policy. We need to unite our voices and put pressure on hospital administrators to abandon this horrible policy.

I encourage everyone to read the article, No Visitor Policy During a Pandemic at http://patientmodesty.org/novisitorpolicy.aspx and watch the video, Zero Visitor Policy During Coronavirus at www.youtube.com/patientmodesty.

If you would like to help advocate to end this inhumane policy please email me at info@patientmodesty.org

Misty Roberts

Waynesville

Editor’s note: HRMC works with families of the critically ill on a case by case basis.

A blue Christmas

To the editor:

Several years ago a group of us ladies played bridge at the museum (thanks to the town of Canton for letting us use that facility.)

There were several feral cats that hung out behind the museum. I could hardly keep my mind on bridge for thinking about those cats and wondering how they were surviving.

I decided I had to do something, so I made my plans to come down to the museum every evening about 6 p.m. and feed them. This I did faithfully, never missing a time.

One cat was a blue-gray color and smaller than the others, so I named it “Blue.” It finally allowed me to hold it briefly, but never did completely trust me.

One cold evening, a man drove up in a pickup truck. He got out and walked toward me. I was frightened. He held out his hand and said, “I want to give you some money.”

I asked why and he replied it was to buy cat food. I told him that was kind of him but I was doing OK. He replied, “But let me explain. My wife recently died and she loved cats. This is in memory of her.”

I took the money — two $20 bills and bought cat food.

I knew the cats were multiplying and the town was going to take some action soon. So one day after bridge I mad up my mind to rescue little Blue. I scooped her up and took her to the vet to be checked over and spayed. Then I took her with me and gave her a good home.

My precious “Blue” passed away this past Thursday at the age of 18. I love her so much.

Yesterday I received a sympathy card from the Animal Clinic with Blue’s paw prints on it. How sweet of them to care. I cried again.

I guess we all have a blue Christmas once in a while, but time is a healer, so I’ll be OK.

Joan Morrison

Canton

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