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What’s Behind the Nursing Home Horror [The New York Times]

The first known coronavirus outbreak in the United States was at a nursing home in Washington State. However, nursing homes “got virtually nothing," except patients and nurses that were infected by the virus. Best estimates currently state that approximately half of those who have died from COVID-19 have been nursing home residents.

Original article written by Charles C. Camosy

Image taken by Ryan Henriksen

Published May 17, 2020

A nursing home employee recounts receiving inadequate PPE and training, which likely exposed her to the virus. She voiced her concerns to management, but her efforts were left in the dark. Her facility's staff members were also not being tested. She decided she did not want to risk giving the virus to residents, so she quit her job. She summarized her thoughts with: “the elderly need a voice by someone that cares.”

This pandemic forces us to look at the grim reality. Maybe, “instead of denying the reality of cognitive impairment, aging and death… our culture [could] begin to embrace it forthrightly in ways which lead us to honor the final years we have with the family members and friends who go before us.”

This is the time to collectively challenge our society's throwaway culture that has marginalized vulnerable populations and contributed to a tragedy among our nation's nursing homes.


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