It’s already been four years since New York made what a rational nation would have considered a laughing stock of itself in 2020. Except what transpired was no laughing matter.

Under the mandates of the New York Department of Health (DOH), COVID-positive patients were transferred to nursing homes in order to shoulder the burden of helpless patients as hospitals buckled under the stress.

As per the order referenced on page seven, the DOH insisted that all nursing homes “must comply with the expedited receipt of residents returning from hospitals” to nursing homes.

The order also states that nursing homes were specifically prohibited from denying patients readmission to the homes based on suspected or even a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19. Nursing home staff were also not allowed to test returning residents for the virus.

Is it a mystery to anyone why the public was so adamant in bucking the overarching mandates of local, state, and federal governments in ensuring we maintain six-foot distances and wear masks while walking to our tables at the restaurant, but taking them off while we eat and converse?

It’s because New York acted so indignantly towards the most vulnerable population that they lost all credibility as the pandemic was just in its fledgling stages.

We can’t fault the state government and medical personnel for simply not knowing what to do in that crisis. It was an unprecedented disaster of catastrophic proportions, one that will likely send nurses and doctors to therapists for years to shed the understandable guilt of trying everything in their power to save lives only to fail repeatedly. The novel virus was truly powerful in March 2020, and we owe our endless thanks and respect to the frontline workers who quite literally risked their lives trying to gain control of the disease.

But we can certainly fault the government for such recklessness in exposing some of the most vulnerable members of our population to such an illness and without regard for the staff’s health.

What’s worse: residents were completely relegated to their rooms and family was barred from coming into direct contact with them.

This is where we have questions. If the public could not enter for fear of bringing the virus in or contracting on the premises, then why not test and quarantine infected residents? On the other hand, if residents returning from the hospital did not require testing, then why bar the families from visiting?

Was it an abhorrent misunderstanding of how pathogens spread and how contact with loved ones is one of the best medicines?

Was it a hasty “any means necessary” attempt at freeing up hospital beds, consequences be damned?

Was it intentional culling of populations likely to require readmittance to the hospital?

We may never know, but we thank our elected officials for trying every day to get answers.

Our memories are long and we certainly remember this day as one of the most shameful and unnecessary in our state’s and nation’s history.

We must also remember all the closed businesses, mask mandates, vaccine passports, inexplicably delayed or absent services, plexi-glass dividers from behind which we could not hear the cashier so we poked our heads around them negating the purpose of them completely, and the slew of other ultimately pointless measures that served primarily as the government’s mandate that we “must comply.”

We must also remember the ruling elite’s maskless parties, ritzy restaurant gatherings, forced hair salon openings for personal appointments, carte blanche travel and services, and absolutely no relation whatsoever to the vast majority of the population.

And yet, we are still waiting on answers.

Previous articleSmithtown Moves Closer to Updated Master Plan
Next articleIs the Opposition Really the Best We Have for NY-01?
The Messenger Papers Editorial Board aspires to represent a fair cross section of our Suffolk County readers. We work to present a moderate view on issues facing Long Island families and businesses.