One of the many dire and negative effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is that people are not allowed to leave their homes. Everyone is supposed to maintain physical distance from each other to prevent the spread of the virus and flatten the curve.
Being at home can be stressful, but imagine what people confined in hospitals are going through right now. Some of them may be experiencing a doubled amount of stress. Thankfully, some hospitals have come up with ingenious ways to help and alleviate their stress and anxiety.
The Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has initiated an online dog therapy program. Through this program, their group of 127 dogs will still be able to visit patients, staff, and families, through a computer screen. The pups involved are also bringing smiles to the hospital’s young patients.
One dog a day keeps the doctor away
Kate Buhrmaster, the program manager, said that their hospital community was anxious. And they turned to innovation to aid them in providing something meaningful for the members of their community. She added that their dogs, together with their handlers, are using a video conference application to talk to people.
So far, more than 60 dogs from the 127 furry pals have been using the set-up to make virtual visits, a strategy that helps promote social distancing. The program has been a hit among people. Kate said that people receiving visits from dogs were “aahing” and “oohing” at the screen.
Some would even ask the handler to scratch the dog behind his ears. Others would ask the handler to do a belly rub for them.
The hospital’s other program
Other than these one-on-one virtual visits, the program has also organized Paws and Relax meetings, which are held weekly. About eight dogs are called in to brighten someone’s day.
Kate said that they are a familiar part of the hospital community. They let people check-in and have a deep breath.
Video Source: Children’s Hospital Los Angeles via YouTube