July 8, 2020
“The proof is in the pudding.” While that old proverb originated with the idea that we have to taste our food to know if it’s any good, it is currently construed to mean that an unmistakable conclusion can be reached from tangible, often quantitative evidence.
Case in point: on May 17, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported just over 13,000 cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. Over the 4th of July holiday, that number was nearly 60,000.
One does not need to be a data analyst or epidemiologist to understand the reason for the spike in certain areas across the country. Large gatherings of people in close contact without masks, less than stringent precautionary regulations in some cities and states, and a lax attitude toward recommended safety measures against the virus are clearly to blame. Overall, the United States has the most coronavirus cases in the world, with nearly 3 million as of this writing.
“You may be done with COVID, but COVID’s not done with you. It preys on our exhaustion, it preys when we get lazy, it preys when we are divided,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, adding that being surprised by spiking cases is like cheating on your diet and wondering why you’re not losing weight.
While Garcetti and health experts warn that people should not become paralyzed by fear over the pandemic, they should know that they are putting themselves and others at great risk if they become anesthetized to its dangers. According to experts at Johns Hopkins Medicine, each person who becomes infected with the highly contagious coronavirus passes it on to at least two other people and sometimes many more.
Thought leaders looking at the future of the virus’ impact on society and various systems remind us that it was only a matter of time before the pandemic struck. While “unthinkable” is a word often used to describe its presence on the current landscape, epidemiologists maintain that it certainly was not unforeseen.
According to a study initiated by EY tax services, “Though the crisis seems to have been with us for a long time, the reality is the pandemic is still in early days.” What’s more, experts from the study maintain, preparing for the unthinkable should be our “new normal.”
It is widely known that senior citizens are particularly vulnerable to COVID. Unfortunately, media coverage of senior communities doesn’t tend to focus on all the many good things senior living is doing to mitigate the spread of the virus and also keep residents engaged in vital activities and socialization.
“It’s impossible for senior living to be COVID-free,” said Senior Living Foresight publisher Steve Moran. “But senior living knows more about caring for older adults than anyone else,” he added. At Barclay Friends, procedures have been developed to protect our residents, including use of personal protective equipment, enhanced cleaning and disinfection, screening of employees and residents, and emphasis on hand hygiene.
Indeed, despite the inevitable risks, quality senior living communities are among the most cautious and protective of environments. Quite possibly, they may also be some of the most able to demonstrate and promote an agenda of remaining vigilant in the face of widespread contagion. Vigilance against COVID-19 is an everyday occurrence at Barclay Friends.
Across the state of Pennsylvania, cases of COVID are significantly down from previous weeks. Here in West Chester (as of this writing), we are in the green phase of reopening businesses and other services. This means that there are fewer restrictions than the earlier red and yellow phases, but masks in all public places are still required, among other regulations. However, the green phase for the city does not yet apply to Barclay Friends, as skilled nursing communities must meet other requirements before opening to visitors and lifting restrictions.
Despite the likelihood that the coronavirus may not be going anywhere anytime soon, at least until a vaccine is developed, we can still find hope and health in continuing to exercise proper safety protocols and leading by example.
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