The 'Rona has obliterated nursing homes across the United States.
I'm not only talking about actual deaths, but the survival of nursing homes themselves.
In a new survey, 65% of such facilities said they would fail within the next year due to increased costs for staffing, testing, and sanitation as well as decreased demand as residents leave to live elsewhere.
"We've never seen a pandemic like this before," said Lisa Sanders of LeadingAge, a group that represents non-profits in senior care. "There was so much that wasn't known at the beginning. As the pandemic wore on, it became clear that personal protective equipment — critical resources necessary to do battle — were needed in volumes that had not been budgeted for."
90% of the homes have a profit margin less than 3% or are running at a loss right now.
I can't say I blame families for pulling their loved ones out of nursing homes, and not just because a third of all 'Rona deaths have occurred there. A lot of it has to do with the policies being implemented that isolate seniors in a living hell apart from loved ones and the things that make them feel human.
I mean, when you have to sue to hold your wife's hand, you know something is seriously wrong.
There's another massive problem lurking around the corner, however. As Sanders points out, many poorer residents have no other option than the government-subsidized homes.
"What happens if nursing homes fail?" asked Sanders. "Well, people will have to find other types of care. Maybe people will live in assisted living, but it's not covered by Medicaid, so if you're poor you won't have that option."