Greater dependence on chaplains, others providing comfort while hospitals have ‘no visitor’ policies

Cases of COVID-19 are continuing to spike and for those with more serious symptoms, hospitalization is a likely reality.

Cases of COVID-19 are continuing to spike and for those with more serious symptoms, hospitalization is a likely reality.

Right now, those facing coronavirus or anything else, are often facing it alone in isolation at hospitals with strict “no visitor policies.” There’s a greater dependence on chaplains, pastoral care advisors, rabbis and others to provide a comforting connection so many patients need.

That’s where people like chaplain Cathy have been stepping in to help overcome the personal connection challenges -- she’s been talking to COVID-19 patients with a phone, through the glass.

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She’s also seeing care providers step up to meet an incredible challenge.

“Was it Fred Rogers who said, look for the helpers, and I’m just seeing all of those helpers all over – in the midst of something unprecented for us it’s really something that’s inspiring,” Cathy said.

At UMass Memorial, there are exceptions for people who are close to the end of life, along with laboring patients, pediatrics and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) babies.

For patients who can’t see visitors in person, they’re provided iPads and are shown how to use them.