Caring for the elderly
Ok, ok, Carlos is just outside my 5 km.
But today I was off, and it was a bright frosty day, and I phoned him in the morning and he was all chat and I could tell that he was feeling lonely and work is getting stressful again for him and he was facing spending a day of having to cope with work challenges, and not enjoying these one bit, and falling pray to his demons.
So I got on my bike. There were Garda checkpoints both ways but they never seem to be interested in cyclists. It was a frosty, bright bright morning and the cycle was exhilarating and a little bit scary in the places where the low low winter sun had not shone. And I listened to a great podcast about epidemiology. And I arrived at Carlos's and he asked me if he should come down and see me or if I should go up to his apartment and see him and I knew which options he wanted most. And fuck it, I said I'll come up to you, I'll wear a mask. And we had coffee and tea and Irish skimmed milk and he was able to walk away from the work laptop for a half hour that flew at the speed of light and we talked and laughed and slagged each other and I put my yellow jacket back on, and my blue helmet, and I said my goodbyes and gave him a hug, still masked, and I climbed down the stairs, not to touch the buttons in the elevator, even though I had just hugged my lonely lonely mate, and I unlocked my bike, and I cycled back home, past a Garda checkpoint, who don't care much about cyclists, but I gave them a nod, and one gave me a nod back, and the eye contact said we don't mind each other, we're all a bit lost. And Carlos is lonely. I can tell. And I'll do that trip again, before we downgrade again to a slightly less severe level of lockdown, and he will have coffee in his Invisible Man mug. With Irish skimmed milk. And I will have tea. With Irish skimmed milk. One sugar.
While cycling on my way back home, one of the doctors mentioned that there are no psychiatrists or psychologists involved in the W.H.O. Covid 19 taskforce, or in the national taskforces. Mental health does not even appear to be a second thought. Mental health professionals are denied any input in the decision making.