Where there's a will, there's a way, helping the elderly against COVID-19

Some who died could have been saved had they been tested in time.

An elderly woman sits in the recreation room of a retirement home as visits have been restricted due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) concerns in Grevenbroich (photo credit: REUTERS)
An elderly woman sits in the recreation room of a retirement home as visits have been restricted due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) concerns in Grevenbroich
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Considerable publicity has been given to mistreatment of residents in retirement homes. The worst part is being confined to their apartments without any companionship, sometimes without food, and without information relayed to their families.
Then there's the appalling business of so many not having been tested for coronavirus, and that some who died could have been saved had they been tested in time.
There was no need to keep residents of retirement homes completely isolated from their families. Every modern retirement home has lots of public space, beginning with a spacious lobby, a public lounge, a communal dining room, a library and various activity rooms.  
There is no reason why glass or plexiglass enclosures could not have been built in all the public areas in retirement homes, thus allowing residents to come into the enclosures with two or three members of their families standing outside but visible to them and talking to them. There are enough volunteers who would be willing to work out a roster system so that each family could come for a limited period at least once a week.
This would give residents something to which they could look forward, and it would also give them hope that they will not be abandoned.
One of the few good things to come out of COVID-19 is that it has delayed the deportation of refugees from African countries who sought a haven in Israel and discovered that Israel was unwilling to allow them to stay.
Now, some of the people who had been designated for deportation are being asked to undergo training so they can work in retirement homes. 
In pre-COVID-19 times, there were plenty of other essential jobs that most Israelis did not want, and these very same people who are now being asked to step up and help out could have been doing these jobs instead of spending their time hiding from the immigration authorities.
The big question is, what's going to happen to them when regular airport activity resumes?
Are these people who are being asked to perform such vital work going to be kicked out, or will they be given permanent residency in appreciation for putting their lives on the line to care for Israel's senior citizens?
The only city that shows real concern for refugees is Tel Aviv.  Aside from the humane care that refugees receive from Kav L'Oved, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai has made sure that their children receive education, and that meals that are provided by the municipality are given not only to Israeli residents of Tel Aviv, but to all who are hungry.  
There is a large soup kitchen in south Tel Aviv where anyone can pick up a nutritious packed meal – no questions asked.
That is one of the true definitions of the milk of human kindness.