Halloween appears to have arrived early in Kalispell, MT, with a display in front of the Old County Courthouse set up by a group of anti-lockdown, anti-masking protesters demonstrated the frightening reality for many seniors in Flathead County as well as the rest of Montana.
The group of nearly 40 demonstrators, which have been gathering for several weeks now, are protesting what they describe as ‘elder abuse’ at many senior care homes, on account of the severe restrictions and limitations placed on visitations by friends and family over the last 18 months. Despite residents wanting to have visitors and see other people, these care facilities frequently refuse entry to guests altogether, effectively trapping their residents in for their “own good.”
For the protesters, this visceral, morbid display paints a picture of what real life is for many across Kalispell and the rest of the state. They are concerned about the depression and mental health issues that have accompanied these longs bouts of isolation, with one protester explaining that by raising a ruckus. Quoting the bible verse Leviticus 19:32 ESV (You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.) she explains:
“We hope to achieve community awareness and to abolish lockdowns in Flathead County of the elderly”
Though in the last two weeks some residences have lifted the lockdowns, it’s not coming fast enough, with allegations that several nursing home residents have passed away on account of being forced to stay in their rooms for weeks at a time, resulting in a “failure to thrive.” The need for action, they say, is pressing, and invite anyone to attend every Friday night from 5:30 to 7:30 at South Main in Kalispell MT.