By K. Walker
In New York City every evening at 7 o’clock, a chorus of cheers and applause go up in recognition of the courageous medical personnel there and throughout the country who are putting their lives on the line to treat coronavirus patients. But for an emergency room physician 1,200 miles away at a Florida hospital, the reception she is receiving is more reminiscent of a Bronx cheer.
Dr. Theresa Greene, a divorcee, has lost custody of her 4-year old daughter after her ex, Eric Greene, filed an emergency petition for temporary sole custody “due to mother’s significantly heightened exposure to COVID-19.” A family court judge has granted it.
According to NBC Miami, in his decision, Judge Bernard Shapiro wrote:
In order to protect the best interests of the minor child, including but not limited to the minor child’s safety and welfare, this Court temporarily suspends the Former Wife’s timesharing until further Order of Court. The suspension is solely related to the outbreak of COVID-19.” [Emphasis added]
The judge reached that decision despite the fact Dr. Greene has tested negative for COVID-19 and, like other front-line workers, wears protective gear at work to avoid contracting the virus. She is being denied contact with her toddler because of her role in treating a virus that has disrupted the normal flow of life indefinitely. When exactly will we return to normal? No one knows. Some people are floating 18 months to 2 years. For however long it takes, Dr. Greene will be denied visitation with her child.
“I feel like the family court system now is stressing me almost more than the virus, I mean this is a very stressful time for healthcare professionals,” Greene told reporters, adding:
I was just shocked that the judge would take this stance without talking to medical experts and knowing the facts and take it so lightly, take my child from me and not think of the effect on her, her mental and psychological well-being.
I know I’m not alone, first responders, nurses, so many people in this position who, because they’re divorced, their children are suffering and they’re being told they can’t see them, and it’s just not fair.
The American Medical Association(AMA) has guidelines for doctors treating COVID-19 cases that include thorough and frequent hand-washing, changing out of work clothes, showering once a shift is over, and using separate dishes temporarily. The guidelines also emphasize that completely isolating from family isn’t a great idea.
Cross posted at ClashDaily