Letter to the editor — June 18

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 18, 2020

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Be respectful

Isn’t it time for everyone to be more respectful of hospitalized victims of COVID-19 as well as their loved ones? Let’s not forget the risks that brave and overworked medical staff are taking every day to provide care. It is hard to imagine being hospitalized with this cruel disease or to have a loved one in the hospital, particularly when there are restrictions on visitation. Now some of our elected officials are playing with our emotions by submitting a bill that is too late, and a threat to everyone’s well-being.

N.C. Senate Bill 730 permanently takes away the hospitals’ rights to determine who can visit and when. It states that the visitor “shall have unrestricted privilege of being present” while a patient is receiving care. Relatives and advocates can enter the premises, and spread whatever diseases they may be knowingly or unknowingly carrying to patients, other visitors and medical personnel. Visitor rights “may not be terminated, suspended or waived by the hospitals, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services or the governor” during a declared disaster or emergency. It appears to eliminate the ability to quarantine patients no matter their condition. To propose such a bill now apparently to get free publicity is irresponsible, particularly when hospitals are already easing restrictions on their own. Let’s leave decisions like this in the hands of our dedicated medical personnel. What was Sen. Joyce Krawiec thinking when she decided to co-sponsor this bill?

— Gus Preschle