Our sorrow over family members and loved ones in hospitals, nursing homes and care homes during times of COVID-19...


This buffalo was not happy to see Tom when he went for a walk in the neighborhood. He used no zoom to capture this photo when suddenly this monstrous agitated animal started to approach him. Tom ran like a "bat out of hell" to get away, telling me the story while still breathless from running.
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Today's photos are from June 24, 2016, while in Sumbersari, Bali, Indonesia. See the link here for more details.

We keep jumping around from year to year as we decide which photos to share on this particular month and day to ensure the photos are interesting. No doubt, over the years, when staying in certain locations for extended periods, we were scrambling for new photos. At times, they were simple, somewhat uninteresting photos of our immediate surroundings.
The buffalo snorted and stomped his feet ready to charge.
However, today's shared photos from June 24, 2016, are of special significance when Tom had a scary incident with a large water buffalo in Bali that scared the wits out of him. See the story here. At the time, he was terrified, but there was a part of this that made us laugh then, and again now, as we review the photos.

So, enjoy these photos with us once again today, which are four years old, when nothing is more soothing during lockdown now than a good laugh. Perhaps a chuckle has significant meaning, especially today when I've had some bad news about my dear sister Susan, who's in a care facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, unable to receive any visits from family during times of COVID-19.
This was a second buffalo who considered getting in on the action. The cow behind him seemed totally disinterested in what was transpiring.
A few months ago I posted about Susan's failing health and the need for her to be moved from an assisted living facility to a nursing home with round-the-clock care due to her failing health. 

Susan, who is four years older than me, and has been lying in bed for about 14 years with a wide array of diseases, including congestive heart failure, fibromyalgia, severe thyroid disease, and now, requiring oxygen around the clock, COPD. Sadly, she takes about 25 medications a day.
Several workers were involved in a road paving project.
About three months ago, she was moved to a new facility, a small, 10-patient nursing home with comprehensive care. There is never a time a staff member isn't available to assist her.

Over these past years of world travel, Susan and I have spoken on the phone regularly often laughing and sharing stories of our mutual world travel experiences. Once she was moved to the new facility, her health and memory began to fade rapidly when conversations became more and more difficult for her.
This is the grassy path Tom took in search of photos, never realizing what lay ahead.
Since she'd moved, I was calling her daily, usually in the mornings which was her early evening, knowing that nothing was more important to her (and to me) to stay in touch with her since no family members in the US could visit her due to the virus, which remains the case today.

Nevada is in about the middle of the 50 US states in regard to the number of cases and deaths with 14,000 cases and almost 500 deaths, although not as horrible as many other states. Nonetheless, no family members are allowed to visit. 

A sad part of her isolation has been the fact she hasn't been able to see her beloved pet, Chase, adorable Yorkshire Terrier who sat on the bed with her day after day. This fact alone has surely contributed to her going downhill these past months.
Cows were contained in this roughshod enclosure.
Over the past three weeks, I have been calling her both in my morning and evening, which are the opposite times of day in Nevada, never having her pick up the phone which was always at her side. I left numerous messages to no avail. Surely, if something happened to her, the facility would let us know.

This morning, I called the facility directly, explaining she's not picking up the phone, regardless of the time I called. As it turns out, they've taken her phone away from her. In her confused state of dementia, she'd been calling the fire department and police several times a day asking for help. (We don't anticipate any type of abuse at the facility since family members know the owner and the facility is highly rated).

When I spoke to her evening caregiver Ray, he explained about the phone being taken away. They preferred not to take the phone away, but they had no choice when the police and fire department let them know she had to stop calling.
Cows often look to see who was passing but seldom showed signs of aggression. 
Now, all I can do is call to get updates on how she is doing and leave a message to tell her I've called and that I love her. This breaks my heart and the hearts of our family members who also cannot be in touch with her any longer.
But, we are not alone in these sad feelings when so many have loved ones with the virus and other conditions are in hospitals and care facilities, who are suffering from dementia and Alzheimer's disease unable to take calls.

A dear friend experienced this same thing these past few weeks when her mum was hospitalized with a broken back and other conditions. Due to COVID-19 and her aging mother's health status, phone calls were difficult and confusing while getting reports from doctors was impossible. 

Then, the awful reality remains for the patients in hospitals and other facilities who are isolated and unable to spend time with and hug their loved ones. How frightening this must be. Our dear DIL has surgery again today and will be alone at the hospital. We pray for her health and well-being.
Finally, Tom returned to the entrance to the villas and the beginning point of the road under construction. He was relieved and grateful to have avoided injury.
Not knowing how a beloved family member is doing and their prognosis is frightening and frustrating. This scenario is rampant throughout the world now more than ever. I am sure many of you who are reading this now, can totally relate to this sad scenario.

We can only continue to do our part in the prevention of the spread of the virus by wearing face masks, social distancing, hand washing and avoiding crowds. We pray that in time there will be improved access to loved ones in hospitals and facilities.

This is hard for all of us, in one way or another. Love and prayers to all.

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Photo from one year ago today, June 24, 2019:
We visited the tourist favorite Joyce's Craft Shop and Art Gallery while on a drive in Connemara, Ireland. For more photos, please click here.

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