I WONDER how many elderly people have died of the coronavirus, alone, in care homes this last month?
Nobody seems to know for sure.
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The elderly are the forgotten victims of this plague. Not recorded in official figures when they peg out away from hospitals. Isolated from their families. Hugely vulnerable to the virus because of their age and frailty. All too often lying in a bed marked “Do Not Resuscitate”.
Certainly the number is in the many hundreds, and probably a lot more.
When the virus establishes itself in a care home, it marches through with virtually no opposition.
The carers cannot observe social distancing measures. Hardly any of them have the personal protection equipment needed. The residents are sitting ducks for the virus. They die — and nobody in authority turns a hair.
When we look back at this pandemic, it will be our collective callousness towards our most vulnerable citizens that most appals us.
There are more than 400,000 people living in some 15,000 or so care homes in England and Wales.
The Government recently admitted that the virus was present in 2,099 of those homes. However, the biggest care home provider reckons this is an underestimate and that the Covid-19 virus is present in two thirds of its establishments.
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Caroline Abrahams, director of the charity Age UK, said: “The current figures are airbrushing older people out like they don’t matter.”
People who work in care homes are extraordinarily badly paid, even by today’s low-waged standards.
They have been afforded no protection against the virus whatsoever, apart from what they can cobble together themselves.
This is disgraceful.
All of our frontline workers — carers, nurses, public transport staff — should have the requisite PPE gear.
It’s not terribly expensive. Yet we have been painfully slow to provide these people with equipment, which will save their lives and save the lives of others.
We have also failed to test for the virus in care homes.
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If we started to do that right now it might provide a truer picture of who is dying from this illness.
It would also give the care home workers a degree of security.
Again, testing is not terribly expensive, even on the sort of scale you would need to cover all those care homes.
Most people are right behind Boris Johnson and the government in its fight against the virus.
According to the polls, most people think they’re doing an OK job.
I agree, mostly. But I think we were slow to restrict flights in from abroad, slow to introduce testing and desperately slow to provide frontline workers with PPE gear.
And until the last week or so, nobody in government seems to have given a single thought to the residents of our care homes.
It’s not just a government problem, of course.
As a country we have been too quick to bung gran into a care home as soon as she becomes a bit of an inconvenience. Too ready to shelve our own responsibilities on to the state.
I suspect a good half of those 400,000 older people would be happier at home, being looked after by the families they helped to raise.
But for now the message to the government is simple.
Give the care workers protection.
Transfer those who are suffering from the virus to the almost empty Nightingale hospital.
When an elderly person dies of this virus, it is every bit as much a tragedy as when someone younger succumbs.
Go take an Icke, David
COVID-19 certainly brings the nutters out of the closet.
Such as David Icke, for example, who thinks that lizards rule the Earth. And that 5G masts transmit the coronavirus. (How, exactly? I’d love to hear).
And then there’s a bloke called Marcus J Ball. He has filed a Freedom of Information request about PM Boris Johnson’s time in hospital.
Marcus thinks it was a PR stunt by the Prime Minister. He thinks there was nothing wrong with him at all.
And the doctors and nurses and other patients were all in on it.
It’s comforting to know that despite the crisis, the lefties are still every bit as deranged as they were before lockdown.
Rita’s in the Pest Country
I SEE that Rita Ora has got the hell out of London.
She’s rented out some posh house in the West Country.
Her first act was, as usual, to post a few photographs of herself thrusting her best features towards the camera.
Fine, some things never change. Locals are apparently angry at her for not staying in the city.
But for once, I have sympathy. If she stays out of contact with locals down there, what harm is she doing?
This pandemic is being driven by our cities. The fewer people in them – provided they abide by social distancing – the slower it will spread.
Russ a jeanius
MY mate Russell Kane, pictured, has discovered something deeply sinister about the Covid-19 virus.
Something even the experts haven’t yet discovered.
Somehow it ATTACKS YOUR CLOTHES.
It makes them much SMALLER – especially your jeans.
Trousers you could get on four weeks ago now won’t stretch over your bum.
It also causes T- shirts to shrink.
It must eat away at the cotton, or something.
I can’t think of another explanation.
Racism off the scales
I SEE that China has re-opened its stewed bat market, so the locals can tuck in again. Stewed bat, pangolin willies, hurry hurry while stocks last.
The Chinese have also been banning black people from bars and restaurants because they think they carry the virus.
It is a vile, totalitarian country. The lefty campaigning organisation, Amnesty International, has said that calling coronavirus “Chinese” is racist: no, it’s not.
It’s accurate. It came from China, beyond all reasonable doubt.
And to pretend that local practices of chowing down on bats and pangolins had nothing to do with it is a denial of reality.
No sniffs, no butts for Jess
I HAVE been trying to educate our dog, Jessie, in the finer points of canine distancing.
In the current climate, it is not acceptable to ram one’s nose up the anus of a passing acquaintance, I told her.
“Well, you do it,” she replied. “I do NOT. Well, not any more,” I said.
“Also,” I added, “try, if you can, to refrain from eating badger sh*t. I’m sure it’s delicious.
“But it’s also only about one stage away from eating pangolin – and look where that got us.”
She takes not the slightest bit of notice.
Not even when I told her: “You are entering a world of pain.
“There are no ventilators for dogs. Especially not mongrels.”
THE grand old artist David Hockney, pictured, has ruffled a few feathers.
He has suggested that smoking helps to ward off the coronavirus.
Medical experts have responded with the usual fury.
They say that people who smoke are more likely to die if they catch the virus. But here’s the thing – both statements are probably true. There’s plenty of medical evidence to show that smoking makes people more vulnerable to the serious stage of Covid-19. But by the same token, researchers in China were astonished by the small percentage of people who smoked being admitted to hospital with covid. Around 30 per cent of Chinese people smoke – but only 1.4 per cent of covid patients were smokers.
There was a similar result in a study carried out by US researchers.
Smoking isn’t good for you.
But it may not be very good for covid, either.
Little John Thomas
DINGBAT of the week is boring American comedian Amy Schumer. She christened her son Gene Attell. Go on, say it quickly.
Yes, she’s now changing it because it sounds too much like “genital”.
I suggest, as an alternative, John Thomas.
JUST when you thought things couldn’t get any worse, there are rumours of One Direction getting back together.
God help us all. Here’s the problem.
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THE SUN SAYS
Gov’s care homes blind spot during the coronavirus crisis has been a calamity
Boris didn’t beat virus because he’s a ‘fighter’ – he beat it thanks to the NHS
Let’s get back to work before Britain goes under because of this lockdown
THE SUN SAYS
We’ve hit Covid-19 crunch point, so set a date to release UK from house arrest
One man and his balls pinged BGT into life briefly… BUT country needs lifting
We all want the Government to ease lockdown asap. But if they do, it will give Harry, Liam, Louis and Co a chance to start making more really, really, awful music.
Can’t the Prime Minister intervene?
Maybe suggest that while the rest of us can go out every so often, the members of One Direction have to self-isolate for a period of 72 years?
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