Despite the consistent narrative that older citizens and those with preexisting conditions are most at risk for COVID-19, the entire country has been forced to shoulder the responsibility of keeping our most vulnerable “safe.” But have these mandated efforts to enforce mask-wearing; close churches, government programs, and buildings; and instruct young people to stay away from their grandparents in the name of safety, instead isolated the older generations?
After years of increasing life expectancy through improved diets, exercise, hygiene, lifestyle, and healthcare, are we now leaving our older generations to suffer and die alone?
Those over 65 years old are the most likely to die while having contracted Covid-19; in fact, 79% of the deaths in the U.S. that involved COVID were people over the age of 65. 58% of deaths involving COVID were people over the age of 75 years old.
But as precautions are recommended in the name of keeping their generations safe, we are effectively cutting the elderly out of society. We are removing every resource and source of enjoyment from their days.
We have eliminated services that offer companionship, necessary care and wellness checks, and meal deliveries. Also, we have closed churches where families and friends socialized for decades. We have also warned families not to visit with their parents and grandparents for fear of infecting and killing them. We are failing our older generations, unable to care for them as their days come to an end.
Politicians Can Decide Their Fate
Given its outsized role in the numbers of virus deaths in America, should there be a federal investigation into why New York patients were forced into nursing homes by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s policy directive?
— Jews Choose 4 More Years For Trump (@Jews4MoreYears) September 5, 2020
What’s worse, is that political decisions can decide the fate of those who raised us. In late March, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration issued a directive that forced nursing homes to accept COVID-positive patients. By early July, over 6,400 deaths had occurred in New York nursing homes. New York currently counts a total of over 32,600 COVID-related deaths.
Meanwhile, in comparison, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued an executive order in mid-March that prohibited COVID-positive patients from entering long-term care facilities. Visitation to nursing homes also stopped in March. Despite 1 of every 5 Floridians being over the age of 65, Florida currently counts a total of 11,870 COVID-related deaths.
The state of Florida has a population of over 21 million. The state of New York has a population of over 19 million.
Governor Ron DeSantis gave long-term care facilities the green light to open up for general visitation as long as the facility is COVID-19 free for 14 days. https://t.co/7wCFDazPUu
— ActionNewsJax (@ActionNewsJax) September 4, 2020
For those that rely on nursing homes and long-term care facilities to care for their loved ones, they are now no longer able to visit and assess if needs are being met. For elderly patients in hospitals, facilities are asking families to make decisions on their treatment without allowing families to observe or consult with them. It is impossible to determine the long-reaching effects of these interruptions to proper care.
Those who work in these facilities are unable to be tested everyday, and are being hindered by increased cleaning measures. Isolation is common as test results are awaited and energies are diverted to maintaining new protocols. Depression and isolation can be extremely detrimental to physical health.
The hands-on care that many elderly citizens require has disappeared from their lives with no intention or timeline to return to it.
Despite our good intentions to protect those over the age of 65, we, instead, shut them out of the society that they helped to build. We are removing every source of joy from their remaining days. We are allowing them to be at the mercy of our politicians, who can choose to endanger their lives with the issue of a single directive. They deserve better than this.