The death of that precious little 6-year-old is still on my mind. It bothers me very much. There’s something about a child passing away that evokes a profound sense of sadness and disconsolation in me. And thus, as a consequence, I am revisiting the story. I wanted to learn more about the circumstances surrounding that precious little angel’s death.
I tuned in to the news and listened intently as the toddler’s father gave his chilling account of what transpired. That was so heartbreaking to watch and listen to, to hear the cracks in that father’s voice as he carefully recounted the events and series of subsequent events that led to his child’s death. As I listened, something struck me, and has been on my mind ever since: why did that poor child have to spend his last moments alone? That is what bothers me the most!
It is already bad enough to learn as a parent that your child has contracted COVID-19; or any other serious illness for that matter. But to further compound the diagnosis, you are told that you are barred from accompanying your child — your CHILD, for Christ’s sake — in the hospital. That is one of the most callous and egregious acts of separation I have heard or read about. You just don’t do that — a child needs nurturing and care, and they need that from the very people they see everyday, who are their parents!
Now, I understand the seriousness of COVID-19 and the fervent attempt being made by the Ministry of Health to contain and prevent the spread of COVID-19. But let’s be realistic here for a minute. Whether you want to believe it or not, the COVID-19 situation in Belize is already out of control. The Ministry of Health has lost its grip and is merely throwing pails of water in an attempt to quell a blistering inferno.
So whatever type of reasoning led them to prohibit that father from being with his child (probably to prevent him from contracting the virus) is utter and absolute nonsense. Logically speaking, if a child contracts the virus, it is very likely that his or her parents will contract it as well, because it is with his or her parents that they spend their entire day and night. So whoever decided to bar that parent from being with his child, severely erred in judgement.
I mean, yes, there are protocols and procedures in place, but there is the spirit of the law as well. The judgment made to prohibit the father from being with his child was an application of the letter of the law. There was no spirit in that decision. Arguably, no heart, no soul — and much like many other members of our society, that deeply bothers me. It aches me and rattles me to my core!
They could have allowed that father and that child to be together. Who knows? Perhaps the child went into distress because he wasn’t in close proximity to, and contact with, his parents. We as adults know childlike tendencies. Somehow, children are at ease when they are surrounded by their loved ones. If it was to be, it was to be with that father in that room holding his child’s hand, reassuring him and kissing him gently while consoling his childhood fears.
We have got to do better than this. This is not right. It doesn’t look right, feel right or smell right. The circumstances cry foul, and that father’s solemn plea and the lost memories of that child beat perpetually on us like a snare drum telling us that we’ve gotta do better.
It is my fervent hope that this won’t ever happen again, that another child won’t have to face that cold and dreary room alone, staring into that abysmal white light.
I say, what a shame! What an outright disgrace! ¡Que Verguenza!
Rest in Peace and rise in glory, Little Angel!
God Bless Belize!