In our nursing homes there were 5,140 dead on April 12, more than a third of the deaths of the Covid-19 in France. Behind this figure, undoubtedly much more terrible, hides a real health scandal. For more than a month our country left its elders to die without any real reaction, as if their lives were not the same price as that of other French people. We had to wait until April 2, more than a month after the outbreak of the epidemic in our country, to get out of the omerta and finally the deaths in the Ehpad were integrated into official statistics.
They are now counted in a specific category which obviously has less importance. This category “dead in nursing homes”, which the French discover every evening, is the result of the widespread abandonment of our dependent seniors. A task of shame in this health crisis.
These dead are our fathers, mothers, uncles, aunts, grandparents who became dependent after a life of hard work and abandoned by the state in their final days. How could we let such a massacre hit our elders, who gave us so much?
Faced with the coronavirus, for more than a month, the situation of hospitals for dependent elderly people was the same throughout the country: absence of tests for residents and staff, masks, protective equipment, refusal of health authorities to proceed with the hospitalization of our positive seniors.
In the event of suspected Covid-19 and severe symptoms, neither Samu nor hospitalization of the sick. At the first symptom, paracetamol is administered, followed by morphine when residents experience respiratory distress. The residents were simply sentenced to death.
How can we let sick people die in their rooms every day without even trying to save these vulnerable seniors, who constitute the most fragile population facing the virus?
Our elders have been delivered to certain death, which is totally unacceptable in a democratic nation where one life should always be worth another, regardless of age.
The in camera tragedy struck residents and staff alike, as evidenced by the death of a 48-year-old caregiver from Mulhouse and mother of three. What an indignity to let thousands of care workers, dedicated and courageous staff, work unprotected and thus expose their lives and those of their loved ones whom they meet every night.
This health tsunami that strikes our nursing homes could and should have been stopped by means of generalized tests, of systematic hospitalizations. The choices that have been made are fraught with consequences. Accountability will have to be brought to the end of this crisis.
The brotherhood, evoked by our republican motto, failed. The most basic health and human support was lacking. If 2020 marks the entry into the century as 1914 marked that of the previous one, we have entered the 21st century by sacrificing those who shaped the society in which
we live. A start in ingratitude and civilizational decline.
Yes, a society judges itself by the way it takes care of its elders. It is a true marker of civilization, these people have the more the right to respect that they are fragile. A civilization that hides and lets its elderly die is not a civilization worthy of the name.
Is this tragedy so amazing? The “new world” never seems to have placed our old people at the heart of its concerns because they are undoubtedly in his eyes the symbol of a world supposedly outdated. The brotherhood imperative must now inhabit the government with all its might.
The day after this crisis will have to lead us to deeply rethink the place of our elders in our society. The Ehpad model has shown its limits, particularly in the private sector. More than ever, the profit of a few has nothing to do with the mission of solidarity with our dependent elderly people. In France, the elderly deprived of autonomy will be 4 million in 2050. The duty of solidarity will have to be a powerful marker of the century which opens. May this shame, which will permanently overwhelm our country, be at the very least the basis of a national burst to take better account of our elders.