What more can happen to us?!? Pandemic, police killings, protests, riots . . . take a breath! Why has this happened. All this chaos! ARGH! One answer is hubris. Most Americans think there is nothing that can happen to us that can’t be fixed. We were wrong! Worse is how our systems of government, health care, corporations have let us down. And, most frustrating is how our seniors are once again at the apex of this disease but still receiving the worst care!
At least 40% of all deaths from Covid 19 in the Unites States are in nursing homes. In South Florida seven out of ten deaths from Covid are in nursing homes. When I point this out many of the “Covid19 fearful” state, “ they went there to die.” REALLY? I placed my Mother in a Nursing Home because we could not afford to pay for private facilities for both Mom and Dad – the cost would have been $10,000 a month. The family had no choice.
The bad news, this isn’t the first time we see the elderly ignored; during Irma 14 seniors were killed by the inefficiency of a nursing home staff here in Florida. In Texas during Hurricane Harvey seniors in wheelchairs with water up to their laps were found in flooded Assisted Living Centers. Covid 19 hits the over 75 population in a much tougher way but many still survive. There have been three cases of centenarians surviving Covid 19.
I call that resiliency. Most of the seniors “onboarding” for the next ten years did not have the measles, mumps or chicken pox vaccines because none existed. (Mumps vaccine started in 1967.) We went to school, took our polio vaccine and had measles, mumps and chicken pox. There was some Scarlet Fever and other diseases which, for the most part, we survived. There were children that died and like Covid 19, it was in poorer neighborhoods and countries. And, because it was a childhood disease, the scientists were on it! By 1971 there was a measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR) and in 2005, chickenpox was added to the cocktail. No one wants to see children die!
As we know just by looking back five years that is not the case with seniors. The horror stories of these Nursing Homes abound and many seniors die from neglect. Yet, most of these residents have no other choice. If a senior is found wandering the streets without identification they are sent to nursing homes . . . Why, you ask? Because there is no 501(c)3 for homeless or lost seniors. For that you have to be a child. Thank goodness we’re resilient!!