COVID-19 has become the most spread disease in all of human history. Fortunately, for most people this doesn’t mean life changing symptoms though, both the vaccine and less dangerous variants have lowered the dangers of COVID for most people. Although it has not lowered the dangers for all people.
Nursing homes represent less than a single percentage of the U.S population, yet they also represent a fifth of all COVID deaths. This is a scary yet obvious statistic, these people are going to be the most at risk and the most likely to be infected.
Unfortunately still, there are lots of compounding factors that make it very hard for nursing homes to prevent these infections and to reduce their death rates. Nationally nursing homes are one of the most overstressed industries, even pre-COVID.
Nursing homes don’t make a profit, have highly stressed workers, and experience common shortages. This is the elephant in the room. Even two years into the pandemic, half of all nurses reported wanting to leave their positions in the next six months. Nursing homes are also commonly fined for a lack of equipment, to no real fault of their own.
During the first two years of the pandemic, 80% of nurses had a shortage of protective equipment. Even as late as 2021, 75% of facilities were not yet using the effective N-95 masks. This makes nurses stressed and lowers their quality of care.
This is supremely important when, again, considering who they are caring for. Nursing homes are meant to be the respite everyone can rely on when they age, but in the modern world it’s a stressful environment for workers and residents alike without proper infection control.