Tuesday, November 17, 2020

The Cost of Covid. . .

I am sure I am not alone.  Every pastor has a similar story.  A parishioner is in a nursing home, gets Covid, and ends up in hospice care.  The person is dying.  But the nursing home has a strict policy against visitors.  So the spouse cannot visit.  The spouse can wave at the outside window to a patient lying in bed who cannot see the window.  And of course the pastor cannot visit either.  Maybe when the patient is actively dying -- whatever in the world that means!  So after 27 phone calls on behalf of the spouse and pastor, the best we get is that somebody will get back to us.  Nevermind that the pastor has visited patients in isolation before, gowned up, wore a mask, hair cover, shoe covers, gloves, etc... that is not good enough.  Covid has its own protocols. There won't be any exceptions.  So, at this point the patient is dying alone when the patient might have had a visit or two from the spouse, received the Sacrament, and been given the assurance of the forgiveness of his sins.

That is what Covid has taken from us -- not simply the symptoms or the complications but our very humanity.  Perhaps we have contributed to this by acting foolishly, recklessly, and carelessly.  Perhaps more masks might have helped or will help in slowing things down.  But we were and are so quick to surrender our humanity to our fears that it just might be time to ask ourselves what kind of lives we are saving and what cost we are willing to pay for those lives.

This is one pastor who is not giving up but who does not have much hope of prevailing so that a nursing home working by the book might actually look into the face of this dying person and show a little compassion.  After all, the spouse and pastor would follow all the precautions the people follow who are caring for this dear soul.  If they had the chance.

Of course, people have died without spouses near or pastors visiting before.  And still.  But they do not have to die alone.  At least not now and not this time. 


Carl Vehse said...

"But the nursing home has a strict policy against visitors. So the spouse cannot visit. The spouse can wave at the outside window to a patient lying in bed who cannot see the window. And of course the pastor cannot visit either."

It's the "new normal" method of euthanasia. That's reinforced by the report that the elderly may be left out of some ChiCom virus vaccine trials. Also, ManchurianJoe's ChiCom virus task force advisor has argued that it's not worth living past 75.

Archimandrite Gregory said...

That is the bottom line. Oh by the way Sleepy Joe is past 75, hmmmmm.

Mark said...

It is now more important than ever to make sure ANY! person is prepared for dying alone. All pastors should prepare their flock for this new reality.
Rev. Paul T. McCain
The problem those who oppose the Gospel on these points have is that they are trying to anchor their hope and assurance of salvation on their faith.
This is simply Calvinism in Lutheran disguise._________
I have, over the years, talked to many Calvinists, in person and over the Internet. I always ask them, “Do you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are among God’s elect and are saved?” There are generally two reactions to that question:
(1) A long and rather painful pause after which they say, “I hope I am. I do believe in Christ.”
or (2) A quick, “Yes, I believe in Christ.”
Now, let’s be honest here and admit that many Lutherans would answer in somewhat the same way. But here is the problem.
If our confidence that we are saved is based on our feeling that we have faith, we will flounder. The answer we must always give to the question of
“Do you know you are saved?”
is not,
“Yes, because I have faith”
but rather,
“Yes, because Christ Jesus died for me” and of course, in my opinion, the very best answer of all is simply to point people to Luther’s explanation of the Creed and say,
“Here, this puts it very well.”_______
Never look to your subjective feeling that there is faith in your heart. Always, always, always, look to Christ and what He has done for you and the whole world.
Do not confuse faith in faith, with trust in Christ. There is a key difference.
We are Christians, not Faith-ians!

Irish Rev said...

We are learning a hard lesson about fear of death. There are worse fates than death and we Pastors need to be honest to preach it.