When I asked my question, almost 12 hours ago, about death rates in stage two the pandemic I had not seen an article by Karen Howlett in the Globe and Mail which says that “A surge of COVID-19 infections in Canada’s most populous province is spreading to elderly residents of nursing homes, with the number of facilities declaring an outbreak tripling over the past month … [and] … Half of the homes with an outbreak are in Toronto, Ottawa and Peel Region, all hot spots in Ontario where community transmission of the virus is concentrated. Older homes with multibed ward rooms have been hit the hardest, a Globe and Mail analysis shows.“
Some of the data is Ms Howlett’s article suggests that the death rate is very high in some long term care facilities. She says that at one “242-bed home in Ottawa, 19 residents have died since an outbreak of COVID-19 was declared on Aug. 30. Another 122 residents and staff members have become sickened with the virus, according to Ottawa Public Health.” In military terms a 10% death rate and a nearly 50% overall casualty rate indicates a catastrophic defeat.
The reports says that several nursing homes have been taken over by hospitals. But we must all remember that health care funding is the achilles heel of Canada’s social safety net and provincial governments are always looking for ways to lower, not add to hospital costs.
It seems to me that we learned from the military takeover of some long term care facilities that proper staffing is an issue. There is a need for more and more diligent cleaning staff and for personal support workers ~ but those are dirty, low paid jobs that too many Canadians don’t want to do because the minimum wage doesn’t compare well with social assistance when child care and transportation must be factored in …
Calling the Army back in should not be an option. Canadians made a conscious political decision to hav a “free” healthcare system which is rapidly becoming unaffordable, even for rich provinces. But we once again see that the most vulnerable amongst us are dying, essentially because they cannot afford really first rate, private long term care.