Much has been made about states like New York and New Jersey forcing nursing homes and other long-term care facilities to take COVID-19-positive patients when the outbreak began. The New Jersey Senate has announced it plans to hold hearings into the state's directive barring these facilities from excluding patients positive for COVID-19.

Over 40% of the deaths in our state occurred in long-term care facilities. Many of the facilities offer excellent care with dedicated, caring professionals. But all of them, most of them private facilities, operate under the strict rules of the state.

In an extreme overreaction to their gross negligence and ineptitude, the state basically has the places on lockdowns worse than prisons. In fact, prisoners who haven't been let out early due to the coronavirus debacle (and many have), can at least have an hour a day out of their cell. But many long-term care residents are confined to their rooms 24 hours a day. I know personally; my mother is one of them. All of us in the family speak to her multiple times a day and it is pure anguish. She is lonely and depressed and losing hope. The facility is wonderful, but they have to follow the rules given by Gov. Phil Murphy and lock down. Their hands are tied.

Many families have chosen to pull their family members out, as we may have to do, foregoing the excellent care that these places once provided. Prisoners are being let out of jail early, after committing serious crimes, but families are forbidden even 5 minutes of visitation with elderly loved ones. Why? Because governors like Murphy are mishandling the situation beyond imagination. No courage, no leadership, just late reaction to mishandled situations that has caused massive death and now untold misery and pain.

Murphy may put on a good "show" every day in his daily briefings pretending to care about those who have lost their lives and those in nursing homes, but it doesn't fool everyone. Hopefully enough of those people will show up at the polls next November to make sure he doesn't have any more opportunities to screw things up any more than they are already.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy. Any opinions expressed are Dennis' own.

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