Of the more than 146,000 Americans killed by COVID-19, too many have been residents of nursing homes. Somehow, despite knowing older people with pre-existing health conditions are most vulnerable to the virus, we as a nation allowed that to happen.

Many of the deaths occurred during the early weeks of the epidemic, before the need for extraordinary long-term care safeguards was apparent. Many others were the result of wrongheaded action by public officials.

For a few days, it seemed as if COVID-19 was on the run in the United States. Then, millions of people suffering from overconfidence dropped their guard. Now, the epidemic seems to have gotten its second wind.

And in some states, new cases are popping up in nursing homes. More of the very people who should have been able to rely in an additional layer of protection will die because we have slipped.

That is inexcusable.

Throughout the nation, commonsense measures such as social distancing, personal hygiene and use of face coverings while in public places are being ignored by many. Clearly, that provides a larger community pool of infected people, from which the virus can be transmitted into our long-term care facilities.

They have to be staffed, after all, and that means anything outside the walls of a nursing home can be taken inside.

Given resistance by so many to behaviors that could curb the spread of COVID-19, that train may have left the station. That leaves it up to nursing home administrators and staff, along with local and state governments, to erect barriers against the disease. The most effective is bans on visitors to nursing home residents. Another helpful step is frequent testing of both nursing home residents and staff.

This amounts to a whatever-it-takes situation. If it is not addressed as such, tens of thousands more older Americans may perish — needlessly.

(8) comments

bootsielawson

After watching real doctors tell us that this is treatable and one doctor treating 3500 patients, no deaths! Including 80 year olds, they are removed from You tube. These people will do anything to remove our President.

paulgarber

There's always good news. If there wasn't, we'd all die. The good news is the communicable disease is controllable. Notice the word communicable, because this is not cancer, liver disease, or a manifold of others' private sufferings. People with cowboy boots walking into Sheetz probably think it's not real. Or if it is real, it won't visit their door. Well it is and it could. The disease will walk right in, shotgun or deadbolt - whatever you have. And feeling lucky is just plain selfish.

prodigalson

Paul I'm just curious: Why the "cowboy boots and Sheetz" analogy? Are people who wear cowboy boots and buy coffee at Sheetz more callous than the rest of us? I'm not trying to create an argument. I'm just curious.

DeftCurmudgeon

Just another case of someone just not as smart as he thinks he is opining and flogging a stereotype.

My SIL wears cowboy boots and coffees up at Sheetz every morning.

He's also an electrical engineer.

Dunning and Kruger should set up a field lab here.

paulgarber

They don't have stills, and that's a problem.

prodigalson

Be honest Paul, did you go over the West Virginia, and get into Driller's hooch?

DANT

Yep it can infect anyone and the real good news is 99% of those who get infected recovery nicely....about 90% never even know they have it! Most reasonable people don't care one way or the other if it visits their door just like they don't care if the flu does....life goes on regardless. If your old you still have a very good chance you'll survive this virus....if a woman 102 years old can then I'm not sure why people are acting like scared rabbits! If you have health issues like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, obesity, etc. then yes you should be much more cautious because that is who this virus overwhelmingly is killing, not the cowboy boot wearing, sheets coffee drinker....you bigot!

prodigalson

Great post Dant. I agree with you. Also, please remember that Demokkkrats don’t believe in God; therefore, they don’t believe in Divine Providence, or an afterlife; consequently, they have an irrational fear of dying due to Kung Flu.

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