“We have been hit more harshly by solitude than by the virus! ”Is the expression of many older adults who, tired of living in confinement for almost six months, are discouraged, sad and even afraid of contagion and abandonment in which many find themselves due to the lockdown that has kept them away from their children, grandchildren and other loved ones.
The elderly have been the group hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, since those who have not been hit by Covid-19 live in constant fear, because they are aware that if they contract the disease, they know that the lethality increases with age and that makes them more vulnerable.
Josué is an 84-year-old man, his sad eyes do not see you head-on, they are fixed on the horizon.
” My life is agony, I don’t know what could happen to me tomorrow, my family has abandoned me because of the Covid, but it is just an excuse, because they hardly visit me once in a while virus or no virus, I have not seen my grandchildren for many months. who I love the most , ”he says.
Supported by his cane, Don “Jus” as he likes to be called, says that the world has turned against the elderly by having them locked up, without any hope of life.
Photo: Jesús Verdugo | The Sun of Sinaloa
GRANDPARENT’S DAY, AUGUST 28TH: WAS A VERY SAD DAY FOR DON “JUS”
“ Grandfather’s day (Día de los Abuelos), should be called “the day of the oblivion”, because we are forgotten by our loved ones… We old people are like those animals that go to the slaughterhouse, waiting, without knowing when death is going to catch up with them, “he says.
Don “Jus” stated that his brother, two years his junior, became ill, was isolated, and died without the possibility of even saying goodbye to his relatives.
“My family abandoned me long ago, but the truth is I am afraid of dying without saying goodbye to my grandchildren“, said Don jus
Don Jus has ten grandchildren, two great-grandchildren “and I don’t know how many children …” he says with a sad smile on his face.
“I’m not sure, but it seems that I have two children outside of my marriage” he added.
What has hurt him the most is the abandonment in which he finds himself. “What would make me happy, and would help me to die in peace, would be to hug my whole family, that would be my best medicine,” he says.
“The alteration of normality, the lack of routines and lack of technological notions of a large part of our elderly leads them to inform themselves, for the most part, by radio or television. And yet they cannot share their concern with anyone else,” explains psychologist Leticia Verdugo.
“ Not having anyone to share the information or contrast it with your thoughts can cause a lot of distress and insomnia. It is very possible that the news that reaches them will have a negative impact on their health, both physical and mental, ” Leticia Verdugo continues.
Photo: Jesús Verdugo │ El Sol de Sinaloa
The Sinaloan psychologist points out that we must bear in mind that what we are experiencing at this time is an unprecedented situation, completely unknown, with a high level of uncertainty and with many negative consequences.
“ Although our older adults in Sinaloa are especially tough, they no longer have the same energy. It is possible that those who are living alone feel a lot of anguish, and this can lead to an inner sadness that leads to depression, ” she says.
So far, everything indicates that it will be necessary to take extreme precautions with the elderly until next winter passes, since according to the health authorities, senior citizens will be the last to leave the confinement.
And when they can leave, life, as they knew it until now, will have completely changed, Leticia Verdugo continued.
” Before I took care of my grandchildren, I could visit them, show them all my love and now I don’t even have the courage to continue living, ” laments Carmen, 78, who together with her husband live completely isolated.
When asked what their children and grandchildren mean to them, with tears in her eyes and broken words she assures that they are their life anchor, because with their love they provide them with the “oxygen” necessary to continue in this life.
Depriving grandparents of their grandchildren, even if it is necessary to preserve their health, is clearly increasing their vulnerability.
“ They took all the joy out of us. They are estranged and we do not know how long it will take, sometimes we feel like “we want to throw the towel”, but my husband and I talk and the smile of the little granddaughter who is now a year old, gives us hope to move forward, “he says.
Photo: Jesús Verdugo │ El Sol de Sinaloa
Grandparents are aware of their fragility and know that many of them are going to die from Covid-19, and all they ask for is to see their children and grandchildren, but they fear they could be leaving this world without seeing a familiar face again.
Doña Carmen says that the youngest granddaughter was six months old when she held her for the last time in her arms.
“ It is not the same to see her on video calls, than to feel her affection, her warmth, the best gift for this grandfather’s day, would be to feel the tender embrace of our grandchildren and children, but we know that it is impossible and we accept it, we already had a long life … so whatever comes for us is a good thing, ” Doña Carmen concluded.