Is COVID gatekeeping your healing? First Thoughts
I have been privileged to help people who have problems with communication and swallowing for almost twenty years. When a person has issues with these two necessary functions, life can be greatly diminished. When COVID precautions and restrictions distanced me from patients, I saw how access to healthcare could so easily crumble. Limited-to-no access to speech and language therapy has impacted patients in nursing facilities, outpatient, home care, and schools. This has been shown to be the case in several recent studies. Where remote therapy was feasible, therapists met the needs of patients to the best of their abilities. Although more in-person therapy is happening now, service delivery is different from pre-Covid times. As I do all I can to keep patients and myself safe, I value the chances to be at a patient’s side. The realness of reality feels special. While we work to end or understand this pandemic, we must never stop learning from our collective journey. We must ask the difficult questions. What does it mean when a person loses access to healing? I’ve seen a lot these past two years. And I’m finally ready to face that question.