by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Everyone who knew Elizabeth Valerie Reiter describes her as someone who was kind, thoughtful, and always positive. Her husband, Steve, agrees but he also likes to add that Elizabeth was “super cute.” On April 29, Elizabeth was rushed to a local hospital after feeling sick for about seven weeks. As she was carried on to the ambulance, she waved to Steve and their two boys, telling them that she hoped to see them again soon. Steve and the two boys never imagined that was the last time they would see Elizabeth alive. …
… Steve continued, “Do you know loneliness is just as lethal as smoking 15 cigarettes per day?” He was convinced that if he was allowed to visit Elizabeth, looking after her and comforting her as he did back in 2014, Elizabeth would have lived. …
… Too many Americans died alone and too many families didn’t get to say goodbye to their loved ones because of arbitrary rules that are often more fear-based than science-based. Government officials and the healthcare community also lost credibility when they either encouraged or actively participated in mass protests in recent weeks while forbidding ordinary Americans to visit their loved ones at health facilities or even organize a normal funeral.
Authority figures in this country need to do some soul searching. It’s time they have an honest assessment of their policies and guidelines and reevaluate whether some of their policies and guideline were either unnecessary or simply too cruel.
To honor Elizabeth, Steve founded a non-profit organization called the NEVER Alone Project. His goal is to advocate that a patient has the right to have one screened visit per day, even during a pandemic. I hope that the NEVER Alone Project not only succeeds in Colorado but also succeeds in the rest of the country.