For the last 6 ½ years, I have been living in different medical facilities, recovering from Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Because I have a severe case of the muscle-nerve disorder, I am limited in what I can do.
I’m currently at a skilled nursing facility in the East Bay. There were many times I wheeled myself around the building, visiting with staff, residents and their families. From time to time, family and friends visited me. The rest of the time I would be in my room.
I have a TV and a radio in my room, which provides some comfort. However, it still gets lonely. The pandemic added to the loneliness.
But I have my computer. Thanks to technology, I am able to navigate the computer by literally using my head.
I read the news. But it’s sites like Facebook and Twitter that give me the greatest pleasure and joy. Those sites allow me to keep up with my friends as well as make new friends. Thanks to Facebook, I can keep updated on what’s happening in Half Moon Bay. I have read about friends celebrating important moments in life, including graduations, marriages and births. I have also been sad to learn of deaths.
Being on the computer is one of the few things I look forward to every day. If it wasn’t for social media, I would stay in bed most days. When Facebook went down last week, it was like a friend standing me up. It’s bad enough that I’m stuck here and can’t physically visit with my family and friends as much as I want to. But not having Facebook was like being punished for being sick.
I know about the negative publicity Facebook received last week. If the allegations are true, things will have to change. But if the change means scrapping Facebook, that will cause harm to those of us who are limited in how we can stay in touch with our families and friends.
Mark Foyer is the Review’s longtime sports writer. He wrote this piece using a LipSync adaptive technology that allows him to manipulate a touch screen with a device he controls with his mouth. We miss him in the office.