Seniors In Lock-Down: How Long?

Posted by Richard on October 13, 2020

Rose is 92 in a nursing home. She has a mobility problem, but no serious illnesses. She has never touched a sip of alcohol, nor puffed on a cigarette.
The kids joke she will live forever.
Rose isn’t joking when she says she is planning to “escape from this hell.”
Months into lock-down from COVID-19, Rose has been lucky. There have been no deaths or COVID-19 cases in her facility. But she doesn’t feel lucky.
Waving to her kids outside the window isn’t cutting it. She hasn’t seen her friend in the facility for months (“She might as well live on Mars,” she says.) She hasn’t gone to church, either — once a staple of her life.
What to do? Elders are especially vulnerable to the novel coronavirus. Eight out of 10 deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. have been among adults aged 65 or older. Although seniors living at home have made their own decisions about staying in quarantine, the problem is nursing and assisted living homes where everyone is vulnerable if one person is sick.
Rapid-result tests might help the senior population if visitors and residents could be tested and get results instantly. That kind of test is promised soon.
Scientific American reports that two companies and a university are making cheap, at-home tests with instant results. The tests will demonstrate whether a person is infectious with COVID-19. Meaning if Rose isn’t infectious right now, she could go for a drive and dinner with her son. It would make all the difference.