The Cruise Ships In Our Backyard
On April 17, The Washington Post ran an OpEd about COVID-19 in nursing homes coauthored by BUSM alumnus Steven Lee Berk, MD (MED’75), dean of the School of Medicine and executive vice president of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, and Abraham Verghese, MBBS, vice chair of the Department of Medicine at Stanford School of Medicine. They are coauthors of the book, “Infections in Nursing Homes and Long-Term Care Facilities.”
Here is an excerpt from the OpEd:
It is tragic but not surprising that nursing homes should suffer such heavy losses from covid-19. When it comes to a contagious pathogen, nursing homes are like cruise ships, with large numbers of people confined to finite spaces and sharing common dining and recreation areas. Except nursing homes come with a smaller crew that has repeated, hands-on contact with an aging and often sickly population that requires assistance with intimate daily tasks.