Coronavirus

There is much discussion about who will have priority to receive a Covid-19 vaccine when it becomes available.  Since there will not be enough vaccine immediately, to whom should it be initially provided? 
“Ezekiel Emanuel’s War Against the Elderly”
(Epoch Times — September 21, 2020)
The draft framework for distribution from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) would give “first tier” priority to: those most essential in sustaining the ongoing COVID-19 response such as frontline heath workers, etc.; those at greatest risk of severe illness and death, and their caregivers (e.g. adults over 65  years old the those with elevated complications); and those workers in frontline public transport, food supply and schools.

In contrast to the NAS proposal, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel — who is a key Joe Biden healthcare advisor and potential nominee to be Secretary of Health and Human Services would impose a “Fair Priority Model” internationally….He would impose what he calls a “Fair Priority Model” in which people who are at materially less risk of death from COVID than the elderly.

This is not the first time Emanuel has expressed invidiously ageist attitudes.  He is famous for arguing a few year ago in The Atlantic that he wanted to die at age 75 — strongly implying we all should too — promising to forego medical interventions such as flu shots and life-sustaining treatment once he became too old.

“‘Quality of Life is Medically Necessary’: What Nursing Home Residents’ Families Want in a Post-COVID World”
(Skilled Nursing News — September 20, 2020)
After months of advocacy and evolving regulations in her home state of California.  Stark was eventually able to conduct a scheduled window visit with her husband toward the end of August….
Mental wellness is huge.  That’s a foreign concept at skilled nursing facilities.  And I know  here in California, it’s supposed to be part of their milieu.  For people who are in custodial are, it’s supposed to be part of their milieu services, and they have no idea what that means.  When even asking for a friend about a year ago, who was telling me she was depressed and so forth: It’s like, well, we can have a psychiatrist see her, and then they can put  her on some meds.

“Nursing Home Visitation — COVID-19”
(Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services — September 17, 2020)
Visitation guidance for visitation in nursing homes during the COVID-19 PHE.  The guidance provides the way in which a nursing home can safely facilitate in-person visitation to address the psychosocial needs of residents.

“Florida has new plan to allow some visits to nursing homes”
(Tampa Bay Times — August 19, 2020)
“It may have taken Mary Daniel, chief executive of a Jacksonville company, becoming a dishwasher at her husband’s memory are center, but a state panel of nursing home officials and regulators decided Wednesday to loosen restrictions on visitors at elder care centers after nearly six months of COVID -imposed isolation….

“In three days of hearings, Daniel pointed to the hypocrisy of the state policy, which every day allows thousands of vendors, nursing home staff and even state workers to enter long-term care facilities without proof they are free of the virus but prohibits family members, even those with proof of a negative test, from entering a facility.

“Why am I allowed to touch my husband as a dishwasher, but I’m not allowed to touch him as his wife?….

“The draft agreed to Wednesday considers an ‘essential caregiver’ someone who ‘provides health care services or assistance with activities of daily living,’ including things like dressing, bathing and eating.”
More on Loneliness
More on Florida

“New Mexico to expand nursing home visitations”
(KFOX14 — August 9, 2020)
New Mexico officials are working to create gradual re-opening plans for long-term care facilities, including expanding safe visitation at nursing  homes.
[But the guidelines for such visitations are Draconian] as described in the
“Long-Term Care Facility Visitation Plan” effective August 10, 2020.
Its stated goal is to permit one visit per month, by appointment, open window visits or visits using a plexiglass barrier, between a single family member and a COVID-negative resident.
More on Loneliness
More on New Mexico

New York’s true nursing home death toll cloaked in secrecy”
(AP news — August 11, 2020)
New York’s coronavirus death toll in nursing homes, already among the highest in the nation, could actually be a significant undercount.  Unlike every other state with major outbreaks, New York only counts residents who died on nursing home property and not those who were transported to hospitals and died there.
That statistic could add thousands to the state’s official care home death toll of just over 6,600.  But so far the administration of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has refused to divulge the number, leading to speculation the state is manipulating the figures to make it appear it is doing better than other states and to make a tragic situation less dire.
More on New York

“Local resident calls for end of nursing home visitation restriction”
(Burnet Bulletin — July 30, 2020)
“By state law, he is isolated in one room as the Covid scare raised its ugly head in our facility.  He is alone, frightened, confused, and most concerning, he is declining.  This quarantine seems similar to solitary confinement in prison, where lack of contact is part of the punishment….
“We are allowed to only see them through the windows of the facility. I have seen residents locked in their rooms crying and clawing at the windows to try and touch and see their families. What are we doing? Are we trying to protect them from dying of the virus, or I ask, is dying of old age, loneliness, fear and panic better?”
More on Loneliness
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“Elder advocates ask why Gov. Newsom flooded nursing homes with contagious COVID-19 patients”
(Southern California Record — July 16, 2020)
“[A] peace and justice advocate is organizing grassroots efforts to hold Gov. Gavin Newsom accountable for the 2,804 nursing home residents who have since died of COVID-19, which is 40% of the overall deaths statewide….
“[Cindy] Sheehan’s organization blames the deaths of Gray Lives, also known as the aging population, on Newsom and the California Department of Public Health for allegedly mandating coronaviris patients be placed in nursing homes.”
More on California

“Isolated during the pandemic, seniors are dying of loneliness and their families are demanding help”
(Twin Cities Pioneer Press — June 19, 2020)
“Minnesota’s efforts to protect its most vulnerable residents during the coronavirus pandemic, is also having a unintended consequence — the isolation is killing some of them…
“Three Minnesotans, all in their 90s, who died in early June had ‘social isolation’ listed as a cause of death or contributing factor on their death certificates.”
More on Minnesota

“Old Lives Matter, too”
(Mercatornet — June 15, 2020)
“From Minnesota, which has been the center of the world stage for many days now, comes a story which is not about riots and demonstrations.  A World War II veteran named Chester Peake, was diagnosed with coronavirus in a Twin Cities long-term care facility.  He was asymptomatic, but spent two-and-a-half weeks in isolation.   He died on June 2, just short of his 100th birthday.
“His death certificate listed the cause of his death as ‘social isolation, failure to thrive, related to Covid-19 restrictions’ — loneliness, in other words.”
More on Elder Abuse

“How the Coronavirus Pandemic Fuels America’s Loneliness Epidemic”
(U.S. News — April 7, 2020)
“[W]ith the nationwide spread of COVID-19 forcing travel restrictions, community center closures and shutdowns of entire states, advocates for the elderly warn that social distancing could result in a second, invisible epidemic.”

“Mask Hysteria”
(The American Spectator — May 30, 2020)
Were these terrified people justified in ejecting the maskless shopper from their midst as a means of peer pressure to wear a mask?  Joe Biden’s chief health adviser, the bioethicist Ezekiel Emanuel, would probably say yes.  He has argued in the New York Times that mask-wearing should be universal and imposed by law.

“Millions Shelter To Protect The Elderly, But Biden Advisor Thinks Old People Should Just Die”
(The Federalist — April 22, 2020)
“NBC News and MSNBC recently announced that Ezekiel Emanuel, the chief Obamacare architect and brother of President Obama’s chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, has been hired as a ‘medical contributor.’ Presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden has also tapped Emanuel as a health care advisor.”….
“Now seems a good time to remember that Emanuel believes people — particularly the aged — who aren’t contributing materially to society should get out of the way for the benefit of the strong.”

“NY issues do-not-resuscitate guidelines for cardiac patients amid coronavirus”
(New York Post — April 21, 2020)
“While paramedics were previously told to spend up to 20 minutes trying to revive people found in cardiac arrest, the change is ‘necessary during the COVID-19 response to protect the health and safety of EMS providers by limiting their exposure, conserve resources, and ensure optimal use of equipment to save the greatest number of lives,’ according to a state Health Department memo issued last week.
“First responders were outraged over the move.”
More on New York

“What Covid-19 has revealed about euthanasia”
(Spiked — April 14, 2020)
“It will surprise some that in the Netherlands,  the only dedicated clinic providing euthanasia and assisted suicide has closed….In Canada, health authorities said that MAID is being cut back along with other ‘elective services.’ …To shut down euthanasia clinics and services because of the danger of infection from Covid-19 means that those who perform euthanasia no longer believe that their services are necessary….”

Have you called someone who lives alone?
“How the Coronavirus Pandemic Fuels America’s Loneliness Epidemic”
(U.S. News — April 7, 2020)
“[T]he Coronavirus pandemic has created a paradox: Because data indicates the virus has a disproportionate, more severe impact on seniors — as well as those with chronic, underlying health conditions — isolation ‘just becomes another compounder’….[T]here’s a difference between being lonely and being alone.”

“Covid-19 — an oblique view on who shall live and who shall die”
(British Medical Journal — April 1, 2020) [The author is the former editor of the BMJ]
“The day before Boris Johnson announced a lockdown, I sat in a theatre in Tonbridge and watched my brother, Nicholas, playing a Nazi doctor, the director of a clinic for severely disabled children who were being systematically murdered…. [W]e are led to think about the related dilemmas of our own age and our own attitudes to things like assisted dying and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) putting a pound figure to human life.

“Legislators need to see our tears”
(CT Mirror — March 27, 2020)
“During this time, when the State Capitol complex is closed and legislators are voting by telephone, some people are proposing that critical issues be brought to a vote without a public hearing….According to Sen. Haskell, legalizing doctor-assisted suicide is so critical that it must be pushed through immediately….Trying to preempt opposition under the guise of social distance can only be described as opportunistic.
More on Connecticut

“Henry Ford Health officials confirm letter outlining life and death protocols for COVID-19”
(Detroit Free Press — March 27, 2020)
“Patients who have the best chance of getting better are our first priority.  Patients will be evaluated for the best plan of care and dying patients will be provided comfort care….Patients who are not eligible for ICU or ventilator care will receive treatment for pain control and comfort measures. Some conditions that are likely to may [sic] make you not eligible include:
. Severe heart, lung, kidney or liver failure
. Terminal cancers
. Severe trauma or burns
More on Michigan

“HHS Warns States Not to Put People with Disabilities at the Back of the Line for Care”
(NPR — March 28, 2020)
On Saturday, the HHS Office for Civil Rights put out guidance saying states, hospitals and doctors cannot put people with disabilities or older people at the back of the line for care.

“People with disabilities are afraid they will be denied health care because of coronavirus”
(USA Today — March 26, 2020)
“A number of states, including Utah, Tennessee and Alabama, have emergency contingency plans that direct hospitals not to provide medical equipment, such as ventilators, to people with certain intellectual and cognitive disabilities, should that become scarce….”

“Preventing Discrimination in the Treatment of Covid-19 Patients: The Illegality of Medical Rationing on the Basis of Disability”
(Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund — March 25, 2020)
Documented paper on legal aspects of civil and human rights of people with disabilities.

“Coronavirus crisis: The wrong way to decide which patients get hospital care”
(New York Post — March 19, 2020)
At a hospital in New York City an intensive-care-unit physician faces a terrible dilemma.  There are two coronavirus patients in a severe situation, both competing for only one available ICU bed and ventilator.
Who should get the bed?