TAMPA, FL – When the pandemic struck, Mary Daniel said the restrictions no longer allowed her to visit her husband at the memorial facility where he was in Jacksonville.

“I knew I needed to get to it, and here came the dishwashing work,” Daniel said.

She got a dishwasher in a nursing home so she could see her husband. Their love story went viral.

“Governor DeSantis saw this, and when I first met him, I just asked him, ‘Why can I touch my husband like a dishwasher and not like his wife?’ And he looked at me and said, “I don’t know, but we need to fix it,” Daniel said.

Since then, Daniel has defended the rights of patients and their families. She even helped write a bill that the governor had just signed, entitled “The Patient Not to Be Left Alone”. The new law requires that hospitals, nursing homes and medical facilities allow personal visits.

“It really follows the same protocol as the staff, there are precautions we may have to take that increase depending on the circumstances, but we will never be isolated, we will never be separated again,” Daniel said.

However, Professor of Internal Medicine Michael Teng of the USF said visitor restrictions are designed to protect the masses in an environment where sick people can get sick even more if the disease spreads.

“I think forcing them to loosen restrictions, if every hospital knows what’s best for their institution, will cause some problems,” Teng said.

But Daniel said she believes the new rules will allow institutions to make the right decisions for their patients.

“I am really proud that it has become a comprehensive bill that will protect your family members as well as allow us to be with them,” Daniel said.

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