Ms. Bean asked the question, “Which Three personality Traits are Helping you Deal with Today?”
I replied, “I am pragmatic, perceptive (like you) and empathetic. At the beginning of all of “this” I was able to keep my head, sympathize when required, and in general I was somewhat removed from all of the hysteria.
I have a front row seat, so to speak, to the shitshow that is underway at long term care facilities across the planet. Two in particular are a great worry to me.
One is in Niagara Region, where my stepson Eric works as a nurse. The good news is that COVID-19 has not been reported there.
The bad news is that staffing resources were abysmal before “this” hit. Now, it is nightmarish. Particularly galling is the fact that time and time and time again frontline workers have raised the flag and asked for more support, more time, fewer roadblocks. Now, with the homes locked down to family and volunteers, the staff must take on work that those outside hands used to do for them. Now, instead of less paperwork, there is more. How does that make any sense?
In order to prevent staff-transfer of the virus, better late than never, management stopped scheduling a worker at more than one facility. You see, many of the nurses and PSW’s are classified part-time and must work at more than one home in order to earn a decent wage. Everyone at Eric’s home chose to work at a hospital and no one picked the nursing home. That meant that he was the only nurse on his floor, when there should have been five. Management left the positions unfilled.
How is that being responsible? How is that not negligence? Both the staff and the residents are being abandoned by the system. Quebec nursing homes were in the news over the weekend, and the police have been called in. The National Post reports that Premier “Legault said such staff crises are becoming self-sustaining and he’s looked into the possibility of raising wages. With fewer staff, the work gets harder and less attractive, and people are less likely to want to work at such places.”
How soon before we see the very same headlines about Ontario facilities?
Speaking of staff bringing in the infection, let’s turn to a facility in Fergus.
My brother Bob is a resident there.
He was diagnosed with ALS about a year ago, and has been “living” at the home since then. His so-called life is miserable. He has no speech and is bedridden or confined to a wheelchair every day. No visitors since lockdown.
His roommate was diagnosed with COVID-19 over the weekend.
Bob has been tested. We are awaiting results. Given the mortality rates at long term care facilities and given my brother’s health is compromised… It’s very hard to look this issue straight in the eye. I am feeling all sorts of emotion. Part of me hopes he doesn’t contract the flu, but another part knows that if he were to die, he’s be released from the misery of ALS.
I am ashamed to be making these closing lines about me. Clearly there are far too many people in the world who are in much, much worse shape than I am.
I told Ally that I’d finish my comment in a blog post of my own: I’m barely holding up at the moment. My pragmatism, perceptiveness and empathy are working against me.
Categories: In Other News