Listen to an audio version of this column, voiced by the author.
(John Seip on his bike at a local skatepark, where he was mentoring youth and young adults until the pandemic forced him to leave the program for the safety of his hospital patients.)
The patient I was to evaluate on a day in November 2020 was a wife and mother, a woman in her late 70s who had experienced early onset dementia. She relied on care provided by her husband and daughters. She was doing well until she fell a few months earlier and fractured her hip. She never fully recovered from the injury and over time became united with her reclining chair. The level of care she needed from her husband and daughters increased. Though dementia tried to steal her away, it never quite could because her husband stayed at her side. Until that day in November, that is. Until COVID-19 hospitalized them both.