The woman who froze to death in a Scarborough driveway could have been saved. That much we know.
People are stupid. We also know that. Several neighbours heard her cry for help. She had dementia and having had experience with that illness I know that sufferers try to get out of the house. Their mates tend to sleep with one eye open in case the patient makes a middle-of-the-night beeline for the door. Some put bells on the door handle. Others install sensitive security systems. In St. Joseph’s Hospital in Toronto they have painted murals over the elevators on the geriatric ward to disguise them and darned if it doesn’t work. So the 66 year old wandered outside and became disoriented. She screamed and literally clawed at a neighbour’s door but no one bothered to investigate.
Upon being told that a woman had been found frozen to death, one neighbour who admitted to ignoring the “yelling” said, “It’s too bad I wasn’t able to help her.” No, that’s not how it happened, Sir. It’s too bad you chose not to help her. You ignored the frantic voice and went back to your warm bed.
I believe that some people live in a little bubble of their own making where they think bad stuff will never happen in their lives and they don’t have an awareness of the impact their behavior has on others. This ranges from talking in movie theatres to denting someone’s car and taking off to going back to bed without finding out why someone outside your house is yelling on the coldest morning of the year so far. I only hope the woman’s husband is able to forgive himself because he will surely wonder why he didn’t wake up when she went outside. I wish the law could charge every one of those neighbours who admit to hearing the woman and doing nothing anyway. But an absence of morals isn’t illegal, I suppose.