Days ago a major legacy media outlet acknowledged thousands of deaths by Coronavirus in nursing homes, also called long-term care facilities or facilities for the elderly. Although media and politicians appear surprised by this, they shouldn’t be.
I called attention to the vulnerability of the elderly who are in institutions weeks ago. I attempted to get our local media interested, but I failed. Most local media are bound by what national media choose to curate for your news feed.
Today The Hollywood Reporter did a feature about deaths and sickness from the virus at the Motion Picture & Television Fund’s Country House and Hospital. One group in particular is affected drastically—the oubreak, said THR, “arose in its long-term and memory care wards, where the activities of daily life require staffers to make frequent and direct contact with residents.”
As a sidenote, many of the elderly who are dying from this virus already had extremely serious medical conditions. So even if you have heart or lung disease, if you contract Coronavirus and die, that is often cited as the cause of death, at least by media.
The MPTF Country House and Hospital, according to the article, is approximately a century old. One of the founders was Mary Pickford, perhaps the most famous film star in all the world when the industry was in its infancy. Pickford was a household name with brand recognition similar to that of Taylor Swift today. It’s likely most who are younger than 40 couldn’t identify Pickford or describe her, and there’s a lesson there about the brevity of fame.
My concern about nursing homes and similar facilities has long been air quality. If air is shared in a densely populated facility, you can bet Coronavirus or any respiratory virus will spread. I believe lives could have been and could still be improved if people in charge would take indoor air quality into consideration. It’s important to remember this situation also endangers the health of care givers at such facilities.
According to a story published at ABC News today, at least 7,300 people living in long-term care facilities in 19 states have died from this virus.
Every article I’ve read about this subject focuses on disinfectant and other hygienic measures. Not one mentions air quality or air purification although budget friendly equipment exists and it might help stem the transmission.
Even if an air purifier can’t completely trap a particular virus’ particulates, just cleaning up indoor air contributes to overall health. Anything that strengthens the lungs may help a patient combat the illness.
The good news is that media and officials are finally waking up to the threat in long-term care facilities. Just because these individuals are old doesn’t mean it’s okay to write them off. The state of Florida just this week released names of nursing homes where Coronavirus cases exist. Florida Today reported, “The seven-page list released Saturday evening names nursing homes and long-term care facilities in 45 of the state’s 67 counties.” At that time, “there were 1,785 cases and 175 deaths among staff and residents in Florida’s nursing homes and long-term care facilities.”
Ed. note: No benefits are derived from my advocacy for the elderly on this matter.
(Kay B. Day/April 21, 2020)
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