An Overview of COVID-19
Over the last few months, the coronavirus epidemic and subsequent shutdown has drastically changed the lives of many not just in the U.S., but across the entire world. At the time this was written, there were nearly 3 million confirmed cases across all countries, and over 900,00 cases in the U.S.
Today, we wanted to spend some time discussing the epidemic, particularly because nursing home residents are at much higher risk than the average population.
How does COVID-19 Spread?
This recent epidemic is caused by a novel, never before seen coronavirus (COVID-19). When someone contracts the illness, symptoms can vary from mild to severe. In many cases there are no symptoms at all. Symptoms or no symptoms, it appears that COVID-19 is highly infectious and can spread rapidly with ease.
COVID-19 spreads like many other coronaviruses before it: via close contact (less than 6 feet) with a person who carries the virus. Infection can also happen through respiratory droplets that are released when someone sneezes, coughs, talks, and more.
Furthermore, it’s possible for the virus to spread through surfaces. So if you touch a doorknob that has the virus and absentmindedly touch your face, you give the virus an easy entry way to your body.
While most cases are mild, some lead to severe complications. In addition, some populations are at much higher risk of hospitalization, serious complications, and death. This includes the elderly, those with pre-existing conditions, those suffering from obesity, and more. At the time of this writing, COVID-19 related deaths sit at around 2,500-3,000 a day in the U.S.
COVID-19 and Nursing Homes in the U. S.
Unfortunately, many government agencies and other organizations across the board failed to recognize this threat. As a result, those in higher risk populations are paying the price, particularly within nursing homes. In most counties, nursing home residents account for a large bulk of all COVID-19 cases and deaths.
In fact, many healthcare professionals have argued that nursing homes are the “canaries in the coalmine” which alerted us to how deadly and dangerous this virus can be within vulnerable populations. Given the neglect and emphasis on the bottom line that occurs within nursing homes even before the pandemic hit, this is perhaps not too surprising.
Our Thoughts Are With Everyone Affected by COVID-19
At Legal Nurse Consultants, we want to express our solidarity with everyone struggling due to the epidemic. We’d like to take this opportunity to offer our deepest condolences to everyone who has either been personally impacted, or had a loved one’s well-being impacted by the coronavirus. We mourn those who have passed from contracting COVID-19 all over the country and across the globe, and will continue to keep them in our hearts as we move forward.
We’d also like to express immense gratitude towards everyone who continues to work during these challenging times. This includes all first responders, medical and healthcare professionals, and all other workers such as delivery drivers, grocery store workers, restaurant workers, post office workers, auto mechanics, government workers, and everyone else who continues working on-site.