Keeping Things in Perspective

www.CovidTracking.com (a great site!) says, “Less than 1% of the American population lives in long-term care facilities, but as of August 27,2020 this tiny fraction of the country accounts for 43% of US Covid-19 deaths.” Sounds awful. Let us add a little perspective.

The CDC web site shows that from 1999-2018 there were an average of 497,230 people who died in skilled nursing and long-term care facilities each year. Compare that to the 43% of the 74,471 deaths or 32,023 deaths in long-term care so far this year. If we double that by the end of the year it is about 64,000 who will die due to Covid-19 in long term care settings. 64,000 is about 13% of the deaths in long-term care. That is a lot of people, but almost half a million die every year in a long-term care setting. Does this imply something wrong is being done?

Looking at the CDC data again for California for 1999-2018 we see the deaths of those less than 1 year old occur 80% of the time in a “medical facility”. Do we conclude something wrong is being done? I think not. They are in the best place to get the care they need.

We need to keep perspective. For those who need care every day a skilled nursing or other type of long-term care facility is most likely the best place to get the care that is needed.

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dougfullaway

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