Saturday, April 11, 2020

The Big Box

We love our big box stores, the Walmarts, the Costco's, the Best Buy and the other giant versions of Bodegas but with white people. Well as customers as behind the scenes those essential workers are largely faces of color, people whose incomes fall just above the poverty line or at which enables them to attain some social services safety nets while of course being labeled "welfare queens" or the like and are now defined as "essential workers."  While still making shit for wages, living in substandard housing and with extended family members who may already have been exposed to the virus through their commute, the families or people they work with and/or for and of course their already physical health issues that make them a magnet for said virus.  Then they told 25 friends and so on.  Just a thought people as you await your Whole Foods delivery.

The next is the way the virus emerged en mass.  The New York area tracked it to a woman on a flight from Iran where NONE of the passengers were tested and in turn the protocol screening test "Were you in contact with anyone who had it or have they or you been to a high risk area - at that time just China but soon Italy?"  And if the answer was no you were dismissed and not tested.  So in New York an Attorney from New Rochelle who commuted into Manhattan every day was ground zero as it was tracked to his Synagogue and in turn that area went into mass lockdown or from now on I will call full on Wuhan. But of course he had already shared it with 2.5 of his commuter friends and they shared it and so on.   And remember this virus has a three to 14 day window in which it sits and relaxes before it takes hold and for many particularly young folks it appears as a flu or small treatable virus and then they move on and in that time frame they are the most social of transporters as they found  while researching the stories of those who had contracted the illness and perhaps spread it as well  and shocking how the found repeatedly ignorance and arrogance by those who for some nutfuck reason were symptomatic but not fitting the profile.  .  And they were aggressive from the get go in Seattle as it was a like a board game tracing the origins. And the irony was this was early days and the most essential info was the symptoms, NO ONE had them all. Again shocking, I know!!! Not really.

But what we have learned is that people who think they are not at risk are and the reality is that its a virus and the more social you are the more at risk you are so unless you are living in social isolation and physically distancing 24/7, which pretty much describes me; however I was on planes flying in and out of Newark at the same time as the outbreak I have no idea who was sitting next to me and in turn touched my bags, chairs, the airplane itself and we know that airlines are not actually doing much to flatten the curve so there you go.

 So while the poor and elderly fit the profile of the most serious victims of Covid it is about the overall health and predisposition and that brings me to the box warehouses we house our most beloved.  Really, you do?  You do. As we learned in Seattle/Kirkland where the Old People Warehouse where the epidemic took hold and became ground zero for the U.S. outbreak.  

And the reality we see this homeless shelters and prisons as when you confine folks into a tightly closed in space you will have more outbreaks and the reality of every single worker in turn is a carrier and so it goes when you limit testing and defining the pattern of physical ailments that define the disease.   It is a a virus not a clone.   Ever see Orphan Black even clones exhibit varying behaviors!

And even a Doctor who contracted Covid found himself realizing how this disease progresses and the need for tracking and tracing all contacts as his son also a Doctor became sick and who treated himself with the controversial malaria drug and recovered. But note he comments that there is a desperate need for a vaccine as there is no way of ever containing it.  So we do what for the next 18 months?  Sit in isolation? Can I get my Whole Foods person to pick my veggies better?

Testing and tracking and maybe start at the biggest warehouses we have, no well yes Cruise Ships, actually all and everyone in a hospital, prisons, churches, shelters and your old folks home. But let me assure you me and the SATC crowd, remember those girls are not much better as we are fucked without dinner or safe sex and we will likely be the most neglected when it comes to care. So no wonder we far being shoved into one of these homes.  I have always said the minute we started killing off the old women no one would care and guess what I was right. We like old people out of site and out of mind, like prisoners, sick people, not white people, not any people just like us all white, healthy and rich and stuff until we need them.

At Va. facility where virus killed 40, doctor blames society’s willingness to ‘warehouse’ elders

The Washington Post
By Laura Vozzella
April 11, 2020

RICHMOND — The doctor in charge of a Richmond-area nursing home with one of the nation's worst coronavirus death tolls says society is partly to blame because of its willingness to "warehouse" the elderly in underfunded public facilities.

James Wright, medical director at Canterbury Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center, was asked at a news briefing Friday what he might have done to better stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has infected 148 residents and staff, killing 40.

“If I were to do something different, I would have a nursing home that had enough staff around-the-clock, around all the time,” he said. “I would have a nursing home where everyone had private rooms. I would have a nursing home where there was greater access to the outdoors. In other words, I would have a nursing home funded by a society that puts more emphasis on treating our elders the way they should be treated.”

Wright acknowledged the need to look back and consider how he and the Henrico County facility responded to the outbreak that began about a month ago. But he said the examination can’t stop there.

“It’s also important to see what we, as society, could do differently, because this will not be the last untreatable virus to decimate our elders,” he said. “When we, as a society, see that it’s appropriate to warehouse our elders, and to put them in small spaces, to underpay their staff so that there are chronic staffing shortages . . . we are going to see this over and over again. We all opted for this type of environment for our elders. And as a result, this virus spread through a publicly funded nursing home . . . like wildfire.”

Wright called it “ridiculous” and “stupid” that the Washington state nursing home with the nation’s first major outbreak of the novel coronavirus faces a potential $611,000 fine for deficiencies that contributed to the spread. Forty-three deaths have been associated with that Seattle-area home, Life Care Center of Kirkland.

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Washington state nursing home faces $611,000 fine over lapses during fatal coronavirus outbreak

Wright said federal health officials should “mentor” facilities with problems and supply additional staff, not fine them.

“We need to do something different than just punish,” he said.

Canterbury temporarily lost much of its staff — to illness, fear and economic necessity — at the start of the outbreak. Many low-paid health care workers hold down jobs at multiple nursing homes. Some had to quit Canterbury because their other employers stopped accepting anyone who was pulling shifts at Canterbury.

Wright declined to specify just much his staff shrank but said he wound up on the front lines. “I was changing patients, cleaning beds,” he said. His wife, a palliative care doctor at a local hospital, took a week and a half of leave to volunteer at Canterbury.

“My wife was in there, much to her delight at times and much to her chagrin,” he said. “Glad I married her.”

Wright indicated that Canterbury may be turning a corner in the crisis, despite stubborn shortages in protective gear. He said about 85 infected patients were recovering well enough that they could resume some group activities, such as eating meals together. They will remain separated from the rest of Canterbury’s population. Thirty-five residents have tested negative.

At care facility linked to three coronavirus deaths, official says staff need more protective equipment to halt spread

Some of the 25 staff members who tested positive for the virus are back on the job. Some were ill but have recovered. Others tested positive but never showed signs of illness; those employees are working exclusively with residents with covid-19, so there is no chance of infecting those who are negative.

Canterbury is exploring whether it can use those workers, who are “theoretically immune” because of their prior exposure to the virus, to specialize in caring for covid-19 patients, Wright said. The facility is working with a lab to see if testing can be developed to demonstrate immunity.

“We feel like we’re the experts in treating covid-positive patients now,” he said. “It’s not a great niche to be in, but it’s the niche we’re in.”

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