Season’s greetings: Cards solicited for COVID-19 patients | Lifestyle

SOMERS POINT, N.J. (AP) — Joseph Johnson was going about his life, preparing for the vacations on the Jersey Shore, when he began to really feel unwell and wound up in a hospital. It turned out he had diabetes, and it was threatening his life.

The shock of a sudden sickness and hospitalization was compounded by the coronavirus pandemic. To gradual its unfold, most hospitals are forbidding guests, that means patients like Johnson discover themselves alone throughout what is meant to be a joyous season.

“Because of the plague, my wife can’t come visit; all she can do is call and text,” he mentioned. “It’s pretty depressing.”

Then sooner or later a small little bit of cheer got here his manner. Tucked subsequent to the coated dish on his meal tray at Shore Medical Center in Somers Point have been two Christmas playing cards, handmade by native youngsters, wishing him a speedy restoration and a cheerful vacation season.

It was a part of a wave of greeting playing cards being collected independently by hospitals this December for patients lower off from the assist of holiday makers. It doesn’t seem to have any central coordination; many hospitals simply selected their very own that it might be a sort factor to do.

Realizing this yr’s distinctive dynamic, hospitals requested adults, organizations and schoolchildren to both make or purchase vacation playing cards and ship them to the establishments for distribution to patients. The purpose is for everybody within the hospital to get a card and a minimum of a tiny little bit of vacation cheer.

“It was definitely a surprise,” Johnson mentioned of his two playing cards, one in every of which had plastic jewels glued to it. “It was really cute, and quite enjoyable, and it made me feel a little better.”

He has since been launched from the hospital.

It put out a request for playing cards in late November and had acquired practically 1,000 by early December. They vary from elaborate store-bought playing cards to hand-drawn construction-paper creations from grade-school youngsters, a number of wishing the recipient “Happy Hoildays!” or a “Meery Christmas!”

A extra somber notice got here tucked inside a field of Christmas playing cards that was quick and to the purpose.

“If you could give these to people on the top floor where my husband died, I would appreciate it,” a lady named Lori wrote.

The holidays arrive because the nation undergoes a grim December, with the virus surging to report ranges in lots of elements of the nation. Hospital beds are filling up and a few services are opening overflow facilities in parking zone tents or buildings used for different functions.

One of them is a 353-bed discipline hospital in Cranston, Rhode Island, that opened in a former financial institution name heart. Its operator, Care New England, requested the group to ship playing cards to patients, in addition to well being care employees caring for them; greater than 5,000 have been acquired to date.

“I was expecting an outpouring of support from the community, but 5,000 really is a huge response, and we are so grateful,” mentioned Raina Smith, an organization spokesperson.

In Arizona, a 12-year-old boy and his 15-year-old brother began Project Smile, a drive to gather and ship playing cards to hospitalized patients. They made 2,400 on their very own and are encouraging others to ship in additional.

In Cincinnati, a health care provider at The Christ Hospital, his three youngsters, 10 neighborhood youngsters and a kindergarten class wrote 120 Thanksgiving playing cards to COVID-19 patients there.

Young patients at Arkansas Children’s Hospital created Christmas playing cards to promote and lift cash for the hospital. A nurse at Lexington, Virginia’s Carilion Stonewall Jackson Hospital began a vacation card drive for patients, and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Rahway in New Jersey has gotten 300 playing cards from colleges and native Girl Scout troops.

And Southeast Health in Dohan, Alabama, is accumulating playing cards to elevate the spirits of well being care employees coping with the pandemic.

“One Good Thing” is a sequence that highlights people whose actions present glimmers of pleasure in onerous instances — tales of people that discover a technique to make a distinction, regardless of how small. Read the gathering of tales at

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This materials might not be revealed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed with out permission.

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