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Sun May 17, 2020, 12:45 PM

Pandemic's painful truth; we don't value elders

By Nina A. Kohn / The Washington Post

When the novel coronavirus first emerged, the U.S. response was slowed by the common impression that Covid-19 mainly killed older people. Those who wanted to persuade politicians and the public to take the virus seriously needed to emphasize that — to cite the headline of a political analysis that ran in The Washington Post in March — “It isn’t only the elderly who are at risk from the coronavirus.” The clear implication was that if an illness “merely” decimated older people, we might be able to live with it.

Of course, older adults are at heightened risk, even though Covid-19 strikes younger people, too. But across America — and beyond — we are losing our elders not only because they are especially susceptible. They’re also dying because of a more entrenched epidemic: the devaluation of older lives. Ageism is evident in how we talk about victims from different generations, in the shameful conditions in many nursing homes and even — explicitly — in the formulas some states and health-care systems have developed for determining which desperately ill people get care if there’s a shortage of medical resources.

It’s become clear that nursing homes are particularly deadly incubators: Fourteen states report that more than half of their Covid-19 fatalities are associated with long-term-care facilities. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization says that as many as 50 percent of all deaths in Europe have occurred in such places. Hans Kluge, the WHO’s top official for Europe, called this “an unimaginable human tragedy.”

Yet this is not an inevitable tragedy. Policymakers and health-care providers have long accepted the preventable suffering of older adults in long-term-care institutions. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that about 20 percent of Medicare beneficiaries in skilled nursing facilities suffer avoidable harm. And for decades, government data has shown that nursing homes can be infection tinderboxes: Almost two-thirds of the approximately 15,600 nursing homes in the United States have been cited for violating rules on preventing infections since 2017, according to a Kaiser Health News analysis of state inspection results.

https://www.heraldnet.com/opinion/commentary-pandemics-painful-truth-we-dont-value-elders/?utm_source=DAILY+HERALD&utm_campaign=1936573e3f-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_d81d073bb4-1936573e3f-228635337

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Reply Pandemic's painful truth; we don't value elders (Original post)
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin May 2020 OP
MaryMagdaline May 2020 #1
Big Blue Marble May 2020 #2
appalachiablue May 2020 #3
Runningdawg May 2020 #4
NickB79 May 2020 #5

Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sun May 17, 2020, 01:01 PM

1. Why would we? A nation that permits children in cages and

Massive cuts to Medicaid for children and school lunches is going to value the elderly?

The only reason they MIGHT have given the elderly a thought is because they vote.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sun May 17, 2020, 01:04 PM

2. In truth, it is not just elders.

It is everybody. The only thing they value is what you can do for them.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sun May 17, 2020, 01:45 PM

3. Elders are not valued in this harsh, driven capitalist

society. The ones sought here are young, with energy, health and money to participate and buy consumer goods.

Reaganomics and neoliberalism brought in the private equity corporate owners that own the elder facilities and the deregulation that accounts for the infection and poor care that exist there.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sun May 17, 2020, 02:43 PM

4. Not only elders.

I had to stop reading local news (and comments) from OK on the internet. Over 40, mentally disabled, mentally ill (this includes LGBTQ) those that are partially or fully disabled, minorities, minimum wage workers, children with special needs, pre-existing conditions, those who are obese or have addictions, those with chronic illness...the hillbillies believe God has answered their prayers for a purge.
It's disgusting and what is even worse, truthful or not, some identified as front line medical workers.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sun May 17, 2020, 05:46 PM

5. Pro-life, my ass

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