We received the following anonymous letter from a contributor in Québec, Canada, where understaffed and under-resourced long-term care residences (CSHLDs) have been hard hit by Covid-19.
Nice to meet you, I received your request via R. in regards to developing a piece on my father for ABC news. I appreciate your interest – thank you – and have reflected on the offer carefully, to reply with a question.
I am open to discussing my father on ABC news if the idea is to pursue a public interest story concerned with the circumstances of his death as well as introducing him as a person, i.e. an inquiry into the state of the CHSLDs.
I myself spent 5 hours in the COVID-19 ward of the [long-term care residence] during an “end-of-life” visit. I am therefore in a position to offer an eye-witness account that complements some others that are emerging from these institutions, wherein it is clear that they are under-resourced. Based on my observation of my father’s physical state and the activities of the Covid-19 ward the day I was present, it is my opinion that my father did not die directly from Covid-19 or related breathing difficulties, but from dehydration and starvation. If you are looking for someone personally affected by the tragedies of the CHSLDs in order to pursue some critical investigative journalism surrounding the affair, then please do let me know.
If the request is rather for a feel-good biography piece to soothe the public and loved ones with the notion that the deceased matter because they are on TV, when in fact their actual lives mattered so little that baseline government budget priorities plus recent cost-benefit analyses meant they weren’t worth the time to feed, then I will have to decline and imagine my other relatives will follow suit.
All this being said, I realize that you yourself may not enjoy all the relevant powers to direct reportage as you might choose, so no hard feelings if this isn’t a good fit. Please do let me know if you might be interested in my contribution, or forward on to someone else who may be able to follow up?
My sincere thanks for your offer, and for your understanding,