A Message From Focused Care's Founder

Mark McKenzie, CEO

The Real Test

How will history record our response to COVID-19? No one in the health care field has time to think about that right now but it’s hard not to notice through news reports and even our own chance observations, that we are not yet collectively coming together as a country to manage this pandemic, stanch the infection rate and save lives.

While we are relying on diagnostic outcomes that identify positives or negatives, isn’t our conduct, our decision-making, our commitment to our families and to those we care for – the real test?

Our health care workers can be likened to soldiers at war, too often seeing illness and death, exposing themselves to the enemy in order to save others, and showing us all what it means to have real courage and real character.

For those who shun science-based precautions, can it be enough to see that protecting yourself in turn, protects others? If it seems you are sacrificing your freedom by wearing a mask, what if you are protecting the safety and care of another person by keeping your distance and shielding your nose and mouth? To protect others takes character. Shifting your priorities and your perspective to reflect the safety of others – takes courage.

This is the real test.

Finally, the media coverage around skilled nursing COVID-19 positives, is beginning to reflect a greater acknowledgement if not understanding of what is required to care for the most vulnerable population affected by the virus. Moreover, attention to societal trends within a state and region is crucial when trying to determine the hows and whys and helps to answer questions about infection within a skilled nursing environment.

When there is a spike in a long term care community, perhaps it is not a case of negligence but rather a product of what is happening in the greater community.

To note, a recent report from the Kaiser Family Foundation said, “Long-term care cases in “hotspot states” with wider community transmission have risen at four times the rate as long-term care cases in non-hotspot states” and “The two states with the highest overall increase in cases statewide, Texas and Florida, also report the highest increase in cases in long-term care facilities…”

State data appear to correlate community spikes in infection with nursing home case rates, a regrettable connection as we battle on a daily basis to save lives and protect the health of our team members. The infection rate and deaths of long term care residents from COVID-19 have taken a devastating toll on family members, the nursing home staff who care for our residents and the communities at large.

Let us all pass the real test and give ourselves and each other the best chance of being negative – which is a positive.

Mark McKenzie