If Covid-19 has taught us anything it's that pandemics take a terrible toll on the elderly, especially those in nursing homes. Unless...
As the coronavirus scythed through nursing homes, cutting a deadly path, Valerie Martin vowed to herself that the story would be different in the home she runs in France.
The action she took to stop the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, from infecting and killing the vulnerable older adults in her care was both drastic and effective: Martin and her staff locked themselves in with the 106 residents.
For 47 days and nights, staff and residents of the Vilanova nursing home on the outskirts of the east central city of Lyon waited out the coronavirus storm together, while COVID-19 killed tens of thousands of people in other homes across Europe, including more than 9,000 in France.
"I said, 'No, not mine. My residents still have so much to live for,'" Martin said in an interview. "I don't want this virus to kill them when they have been through so much."
On Monday, Martin and 12 colleagues, who stayed in the home for the full duration, ended their quarantine with hugs of celebration and singing, and with an uplifting victory: COVID-19 tests conducted on the residents and staff all came back negative. The caregivers, who nicknamed themselves "the happily confined," left in a convoy of cars, joyously honking horns and heading for reunions with families, pets and homes.One of the problems we've had in our nursing homes is that staff are inadequately paid. Some of them have to take jobs at more than one home. And exposed to the virus when out of the facilities, they carry it back inside with them when they report for work and then it progresses from one home to the next. All part of what Morneau calls "job churn" and the gig economy.
Good news today for British Columbia and, especially, for Vancouver Island. The province's medical officer of health, Bonnie Henry, reports just eight new Covid-19 cases since mid-March. Over that interval there have been no new cases on Vancouver Island.
That last paragraph is quite unclearly written. There have been far more Covid-19 cases in BC since mid-March than 8. There have been hundreds!
Is travel restricted between Vancouver Island and the mainland? The ferries and air travel shut down? If not, then there's no guarantee that the Island is in fact plague-free.
New Brunswick had no cases for 15 days, but then someone who'd been on some Westjet flight gave a positive yesterday/today.
We are, rapidly, approaching the day when many , possibly most, will be asking; how many should die before we go back to normal, not knowing what the new normal will look like?
Fear is stopping the return to our old ways not a wish not to.
Meanwhile south of the border..
We have to keep the border closed.
BM, you're right. The Nanaimo newspaper report I linked to was wrong. Across the province, there are currently 74 active cases in hospital, 19 of them in intensive care (CBC). That's still impressive compared to most provinces. And, yes, conditions are best on the island.
"Pox Parties" in Washington state. Those attending should be rounded up and consigned to some abandoned sports stadium for the duration.
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