Let’s Help the Elderly

The coronavirus is a very deadly disease. To people in their 80s. And these are precisely the people we are doing absolutely nothing to help. All of the inane whining of “don’t kill grandma” masks a complete lack of interest in what actually happens to grandma. We are wasting a ton of resources in efforts to protect the people who aren’t at risk and doing nothing for the elderly who are.

We will come to our senses eventually, pretend that “testing” magically eliminated the virus, and leave quarantine. Since absolutely nothing has been done to address the horrific mortality among the elderly, they will start dying again.

The nursing home model needs to start getting dismantled today. And people who really want to help should get on that instead of the ridiculous clapping to bored, underworked, or furloughed nurses.

15 thoughts on “Let’s Help the Elderly”

  1. I heard a really great segment on NPR yesterday about the corona virus response in Taiwan. I would post a link, but I can’t find the story I heard on their website. In any case, Taiwan has done a great job keeping corona virus under control without widespread shut downs. They have shut down large events, but most schools and businesses are still running and they have had only six deaths in a country of 24 million. Their main tools have been shutting down international travel very early in the pandemic, mandatory masks in public places, temperature checks to enter public places/large buildings, testing everyone with symptoms, strictly quarantining people who test positive, and contacting everyone a positive person has been in contact with to test and quarantine them if necessary. None of it is rocket science, but it does require some organisation and resources to pay people to check temperatures and track down all of the contacts. We should be working full tilt to get these kinds of measures into place here, instead I keep seeing people on Facebook complaining that they are being teased and mocked for wearing a mask to the supermarket.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “corona virus response in Taiwan”

      The responses by the CCP and the Taiwanese government are an incredible example of the inefficiency of totalitarianism vs the much greater effectiveness of (relatively) free societies.
      Taiwan is a rockstar but no one wants to stop the Chinese cheap/slave labor gravy train and so they pretend it doesn’t exist and it’s excluded from the WHO (which is a de facto Chinese puppet organization by now).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, there are relatively free societies (the US, Italy, Spain) that have performed rather poorly in this pandemic, so I’m not sure that it’s just about free societies vs. totalitarianism. But it is maddening that the US isn’t paying any attention to countries that are doing well and trying to copy their approaches.

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        1. “relatively free societies (the US, Italy, Spain) that have performed rather poorly ”

          I was entirely too subtle… The Chinese Communist Party tries to turn any criticism of its paranoia and secrecy and cover ups as criticism against “the Chinese people”…. and many complete fools fall for it and get the vapors about terms like the Chinese flu or Wuhan flue…

          Meanwhile Taiwan which is overwhelmingly made up of Chinese people handled this about as well as it could possibly be handled (as did Singapore also with a strong Chinese majority if a bit authoritarian) and what does it get? It’s a non-country and the WHO excludes it because most countries realize they can make more money by massaging the fragile egos of the Chinese communists…

          To summarize (a phrase I hate). What’s the difference between mainland China, Taiwan and Singapore?

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  2. “The nursing home model needs to start getting dismantled today.”

    I was with you right up until here. Institutionalized end of life care can work well for both caring families and their elders – think, for example, dementia or other life threatening medical conditions. And, some elderly prefer to maintain some distance from their families as well as a preference for the companionship of their peers.

    Still, public health failed big time to properly protect the residents of elderly care homes. Think of the billions and trillions of dollars spent and the lack of funding and resources for job #1. Public health bureaucrats should be ashamed but they’re not – they continue to feed their scare-scold power on the very nursing home deaths they should have prevented.

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    1. I’m from a different culture. To me this is an atrocity. And most of the world agrees with me. I have never met a single person who is not from a hyper-atomized individualistic society of consumers that thinks segregating older people isn’t an atrocity. It’s a wholesale society-wide amputation of the past.

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  3. Dismantling the nursing home model is a long-term project that might never succeed. How would you prevent seniors in nursing homes now from dying from the coronavirus within the next year or however long it takes to find a vaccine?

    I completely agree with your sentiment on clapping for nurses. It’s mostly empty virtue-signaling. Same for calling grocery store or other underpaid essential workers heroes. That doesn’t improve their lives in any way or require effort on your part.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dismantling is already well underway. The push is to provide in-home care, and then straight from the home to hospice. There are programs that allow families to prepay hours of inhome care at a fixed price over time, making it affordable, and some insurers allow accelerated benefits under life policies to be used for this care. So this is already happening, and I’m working hard to educate my clients about these options.

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  4. You’ve missed something. The coronavirus produces stokes (some fatal) in healthy adults in their 30s and 40s, and a Kawasaki-like inflammation of the arteries around the heart in teens and younger. We just has a four-year-old survive a month on a ventilator, and learned today that the CDC hasn’t been tracking the illness among persons under 18 under the assumption that they weren’t affected. Yes, the elderly are vulnerable due to weakened immune systems, but this disease isn’t specific to the elderly, not at all. It can and does kill at any age, from newborn on up.

    The push now regarding long term care for the elderly is (1) having workers come into the home to provide care and (2) euthanasia for those for whom long term maintenance makes no sense (my father was a vegetable long before he died due to vascular dementia, for example). There is no way to provide cost-effective care in a nursing home setting. It’s a model that doesn’t work.

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    1. Vic, here’s a serious question. Would you personally mind if those or us who want to and who live in areas with low population density, deserted hospitals and a couple of dozen sick for miles and miles, would you personally mind if we were allowed to go to the park or a deserted bookstore? Would that be fine with you?

      I’m absolutely opposed to forcing the people who feel unsafe out of quarantine. But I want some freedom to do some basic stuff if I feel safe. Would you personally have a problem with that?

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      1. Not at all. But you need to understand that the disease could kill both you and your daughter or cause permanent heart, lung or brain damage, and that 75% of the people who carry the virus and are contagious show no symptoms and don’t know they have it. I expected, and I saw a report this morning saying the same, that eventually most people here will have the virus. The administration did order another 100,000 body bags. Once you accept those risks, whatever you do is up to you.

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        1. I’ve asked a very respectfully worded question in a very calm and polite tone. Please reread my question and your response. Does anything look at least a little off to you about this exchange?

          A while ago I wrote something about the unfair treatment of immigrants, and in response somebody started telling me that I’ll change my mind when an illegal immigrant rapes me and my child. This reminded me of that exchange.

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          1. It shouldn’t have. yes, your question was polite, and my answer wasn’t intended otherwise. however, I’ve had 10 people die on this block and have a very different and stronger perception of the risks involved than others do who have not yet had the opportunity to share that experience.

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      2. My take on the rallies against quarantine is that they are being organized by Texas oilmen who see their fortunes going into the toilet. The people actually at the rallies are in denial about the risks. However if Trump supporters want to kill themselves, I’m not going to get in the way.

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