The global outbreak of coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, was unexpected and rapid. While more than 90, 000 people were infected all over the world, more than 3,000 persons died, as stated by the World Health Organization (WHO) (Duncan, 2020). It is found that elderly patients are most vulnerable to this infection as it kills 15 percent of those who are over 80years old and 8 percent of those who are in their 70s (Richtel, 2020). In response, the local authorities launch new policies to protect older adults in nursing homes and senior centers. This paper focuses on the article “In Miami, Coronavirus Worries Turn to Senior Centers and What to Do If They Close” which was published on March 2, 2020.
In the article that was published recently in the Miami Herald newspaper, Hanks and Conarck (2020) discuss coronavirus worries and the results of the gathering at the Miami-Dade mayor’s office. The authors clarify that people with weakened health and older adults are at the highest risk of obtaining this flu-like disease. This argument is supported by the fact that two people were diagnosed with coronavirus in Florida. The president of the Plaza Health Network, Elaine Bloom, stated that all senior care organizations are concerned with the new health threat. Many elders visit senior centers for social activities and meals, returning to their homes. The key question posed for the gathering was how to draft a contingency plan and work with the target population.
Furthermore, the article focuses on the current issues that are faced by senior centers, nursing homes, and assisted-living facilities. Hanks and Conarck (2020) mention that 460 out of 700 nursing homes in Florida have infectious disease challenges. Poor prevention practices are caused by a lack of sanitizing gear, insufficient staff preparation, and carnitine organization. The executive director of the senior care advocacy group Families for Better Care, Brian Lee, considers that these conditions can lead to an epidemic.
According to the statement of Governor Ron DeSantis, older adult care facilities should take extra precautions for their visitors. Namely, they should be screened for temperature and other symptoms of COVID-19, and those who are sick should not enter. Cleaning surfaces, using eye protection, and educating staff are also noted among new policies.
The issue of potential coronavirus outbreak is directly related to me as a nurse since I am responsible for caring about older adult patients. While the most vulnerable persons can get infected easily, they also can spread it across the state. Considering that coronavirus is spread by air, the visitors of senior centers can be a potential source of the epidemic in Miami and Florida. At the same time, coronavirus can affect my family, which is likely to put an additional burden.
The current unpreparedness of older adult care facilities to coronavirus is another alarming area that seems to be critical, which is partially caused by a lack of detailed policies and urgency. Richtel (2020) uses the data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and reports that 380,000 people die every year because of infectious diseases. Accordingly, increased morbidity and mortality require more effort from nurses and present more costs for healthcare.
Miami Herald is a daily newspaper that publishes reviews on the most important events in Miami-Dade County. It can be regarded as a credible source that offers news in a timely and comprehensive manner. The article by Hanks and Conarck (2020) provides well-structured and neutral information that is easy to read and understand. The authors clarify the main point of gathering and policy and support it with the statements of local authorities. This article raises the critical problem of preventing and handling coronavirus in older adult patients. Since two people were already infected with this disease, the threat becomes rather serious and requires an urgent response.
I can follow the official policy for preventing coronavirus outbreaks and promote these practices among my colleagues and patients. Namely, wearing a mask and gloves as well as limiting the visits to sick people should be considered by the population. As a nurse, I can apply extra precautionary measures to avoid contamination and isolate those who are already infected. Using sanitizers, washing hands more often, avoiding places with the crowd, and other measures are also among the preventative measures. I can educate my family, friends, and patients about the mentioned measures to minimize the risk so that they can also share this information with others.
To conclude, older adults in senior care centers and nursing homes are at a high risk of getting infected with the coronavirus. The reviewed article shows that the authorities of Miami-Dade are concerned with this problem, working on preventative and handling measures. Currently, there is a shortage of masks and poor staff training, which makes care facilities unprepared for COVID-19. The chosen article can be considered a reliable source of information as it provides the problem background and the views of the engaged officials. From my point of view, by educating the population and following a flu protocol, it is possible to increase the effectiveness of policies to prevent and, if necessary, combat coronavirus.
Hanks, D., & Conarck, B. (2020). In Miami, coronavirus worries turn to senior centers and what to do if they close. Miami Herald. Web.
Duncan, C. (2020). Coronavirus and spring break: Could COVID-19 put a damper on the annual ritual? Miami Herald. Web.
Richtel, M. (2020). Nursing homes are starkly vulnerable to coronavirus. The New York Times. Web.