Quarantine Day 32: COVID-19 Strikes a Family Friend

sick woman
A patient gets supplemental oxygen in a hospital bed. Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

We now have a close family friend whose son, sister, and brother-in-law have all tested positive or are considered presumptive positive.  The sister and brother in law are in their late 60s, which makes it serious.  They live in a retirement community in Virginia, where there are about 6,200 reported cases.  The son has a wife and child and is quarantined in a room at their house. So far, his case appears to be is the least serious.

My wife and I hope that this is the closest we come to having a case of COVID-19 affect us personally.

The retirement community where my father resides has one known case. The individual is on a tight quarantine in his apartment, but everyone else is locked down as well. They are not allowed to have visitors and leaving their residence to walk around is strongly discouraged.

Nursing and Senior Care Homes Hit Hard

Senior living facilities all over the country have been hit hard by COVID-19, although little has been written about it in the media since the early outbreak in Washington State.  There are some counties where the majority of cases are patients in nursing homes or people who work for the nursing home. 

According to the New York Times:

Across the country, a pattern has played out with tragic consistency: Someone gets sick in a nursing home. Soon, several residents and employees have the coronavirus. The Times has identified more than 2,500 nursing homes and other long-term care facilities across the United States with coronavirus cases. More than 21,000 residents and staff members at those facilities have contracted the virus, and more than 3,800 have died.

This list of cases in some of the hardest hit senior care institutions is culled from data provided by the New York Times:

  • 164      Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke; Holyoke, Mass.
  • 136      Leavitt Family Jewish Home nursing home; Longmeadow, Mass.       
  • 128      Life Care nursing facility; Kirkland, Wash.
  • 98        Pleasant View Nursing Home; Mount Airy, Md.
  • 92        Riverbend Post Acute Care Center; Kansas City, Kan.
  • 90        Heritage Specialty Care; Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • 90        Canterbury Rehabilitation Healthcare Center; Henrico, Va.
  • 88        Southeast Nursing and Rehabilitation Center; San Antonio
  • 86        PruittHealth – Carolina Point long-term care; Durham, N.C.
  • 83        The Resort at Texas City nursing home; Texas City, Texas
  • 73        Denton State Supported Living Center; Denton, Texas

These facilities account for 3.5 percent of all U.S. cases of COVID-19, but more than 14 percent of all the deaths.

Social Distancing to Continue

After hearing all the news coverage lately about how long to continue the shutdown and stay home orders, my wife said she thinks we should continue social distancing for the rest of the year.  She also came right out and said that she’s not going back to church right away when they re-start in-person services. 

Wow.  You could have knocked me over with a feather when I heard this.  I mean, I knew that a Gallup Survey early this month showed that a majority of Americans were going to keep social distancing even when he government lifted restrictions, but I really didn’t expect my wife to be so solidly in that majority.

As we talked, I realized that she did not mean we should continue our total quarantine through year-end, but to continue it for some time and then be careful and practicing fairly extreme social distancing.  There were some obvious things we would not do, like air travel and going to the movies.  We’re not sure when it would be safe to go to a restaurant or when we would risk ordering food via a take-out window. 

Personally, I’ll be happy to be able to go to the library again and maybe the local farmer’s market.  We’d also like the state to reopen some parks. 

To catch up on past entries into the Pickled Prepper’s Diary, check out this page, which is in chronological order.

Please note, the cover article is not an individual mentioned in the article, but is a stock photo by Sharon McCutcheon via Unsplash