This has become a time of great introspection and change for societies and world enterprises. It is mind boggling to me, as it must be to most “normal” people in the world, that all the supposed corrections (racism, ageism, sexism, disabilities) that have been documented for decades have actually not been implemented because there hasn’t been any follow-up. Complaints by victims aren’t sought out and I suppose they just go on living their lives as best they can.
I live in Costa Rica, a small third-world (yes, let’s face it folks) Central American country that has a law for just about everything one can imagine. However, there is a scarcity of resources to follow progress and the status quo continues. Accountability can’t happen because most infractions are not reported on. For example, the Law for Persons with Disabilities (7600) was approved in 1996, just a few years after the one in the U.S. It follows a similar path and calls for infrastructure improvements (ramps, elevators, parking spots), some of which serve not only people with disabilities but many of us who don’t come under that umbrella. The law required for changes to be completed 18 months after publication of the law in the official newspaper. There are infractions everywhere but it often takes accidents or deaths to happen before anything gets done.
I rarely get headaches. For the last couple of days, I have felt a pressure headache coming on. Right away I decided (like a first-year medical student) that I probably contracted Covid-19. How and where are two questions I can’t answer because I haven’t gone out but that was my immediate go-to reaction. I retraced my steps for the last couple of days and then my husband’s also came under review. I recalled seen him talking to one of our neighbors, distancing but not wearing a mask. The non-panicked side of my personality took over, decided it was just stress, took a Tylenol and now I am having a normal afternoon. My point is that we are all living an existence that has made us acutely aware of aches and pains that we would simply have shrugged off in the past. The time for shrugging things off is long gone. The days of nonchalance will probably never return. But in the meantime, we need to continue to live our lives the best we can.
I volunteer on the Board of Directors of our local Nursing Home. My position is treasurer, a position that has responsibilities for the finances but not really much in the way of the day to day physical interaction with the residents or staff. I had intended to resign my position this June. Circumstances have made that resignation impossible and I will need to continue to stay on the board for a full year longer than I expected to. I accept that. I am proud of the work the staff is doing. In all these months of Covid-19, we have not had a single staff member or resident come down with the virus. This is quite an accomplishment and one that we hope will continue for the duration. Many of our residents have no one else to turn to. We are working hard to maintain and think of new protocols on a daily basis as well as coming up with new and exciting daily projects so that the residents don’t feel the lack of visitors as deeply as they otherwise might.
It is difficult to keep a positive outlook going 24/7 but that is what we all have to summon from somewhere deep inside our souls. I know we can do it, we simply have to do it.
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