The following opinion is special to the Mirror by Paul Plante
25 May 2021
New York State Senator Daphne Jordan
188 State Street, Legislative Office Bldg., Room 508
Albany, NY 12247
Dear Senator Jordan:
As you may recall, on 29 December 2020, I forwarded to your office a communication from myself which stated in relevant part as follows:
As this COVID crisis continues to ravage New York state, and its senior citizens, with reports of older people in Rensselaer County being found dead in their homes alone, your office was the only one to reach out personally with a phone call to senior citizens like myself confined in our homes by Governor Cuomo’s “Matilda’s Law” to let us know you were thinking about our health and well-being and to leave your number if we needed aid or assistance.
As this tumultuous year draws to a close, I wanted to reach out to you to let you know how much I appreciated that phone call as an older citizen of New York state!
No other agency or office has bothered to do the same, and the Town where I reside is allowing me to be harassed and intimidated in my home with impunity, with the result that my health and well-being are jeopardized.
It is sad that a sense of responsibility towards the citizens in your district is not to be found in the other public officials in that district besides yourself, which is a sign of the times that we are in.
As you will recall, after the legislature made Andrew Cuomo into a virtual dictator with power of life and death over us, to the detriment of over 15,000 elderly who perished in nursing homes, on March 20, 2020, over a year ago now, the governor imposed virtual solitary confinement for many elderly citizens of New York with his decree in his Matilda’s Law, enacted by the governor to protect his mother, that people like myself must remain indoors and can only go outside for solitary exercise.
Having survived the Cuomo-imposed COVID WINTER myself in solitary confinement, which would be deemed a form of torture if I was incarcerated in a prison where I would still have some basic rights, as a Matilda’s Law survivor I have some thoughts to share with you along with this pertinent question, to wit:
Now that the “economy” is “opening up” for everybody else, is somebody going to sound the all-clear for those of us still locked in our houses due to Matilda’s Law out of fear of the governor’s well-known wrath for those who dare to not follow his decrees, or like prisoners in a medieval dungeon, are we simply going to be left to rot?
Will our torture in solitary confinement never end?
Which brings me to the unthinking, unfeeling manner in which the whole thing was done, with no thought given whatsoever to the needs of the rural elderly such as myself who move with difficulty, which is something Governor Cuomo is totally indifferent to.
Overnight, I and who knows how many other older people were literally stripped and shorn of our support systems and essentially tossed out into the cold, with regard to the task of keeping ourselves alive this past winter, when there was two feet of snow on the ground and no one around to clear it away so the old folks could have oil or food delivered.
I was stripped of acupuncture for pain relief, physical therapy, human company and access to medical and dental care, and I think if I had actually been incarcerated in solitary confinement, I would have had access to better care, plus a guarantee of being at least fed, because if I was incarcerated, somebody would have been responsible for keeping me alive.
Not so with Matilda’s Law, however, where the elderly were left to have to fend for themselves, or die.
As for me, I am on the other side of the winter now, very weak and physically diminished, with trouble walking, as a result of this Cuomo-imposed solitary confinement which even kept us from having contact with family and grandchildren, but I am still alive.
How many others aren’t, Senator Jordan, as a result of being put into solitary confinement by Governor Cuomo, with no one even bothering to see if they are alive?
How many more old people did Governor Cuomo kill with his unthinking, unfeeling Matilda’s Law, where he locked us up and then threw away the key and walked away without a backward glance?
Where will justice for those people come from?
Or does anyone in power even know that they ever existed?