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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Lets thank those that are going to care for these patients, they are the home health nurses, the nursing aids, the doctors, housekeepers, skilled therapists, other staff and unpaid volunteers that risk getting this virus because they show up for work each day, while they tell all of us not to take that same risk and to stay home.

One of the effects of this pandemic, is to put in sharp contrast those we traditionally see and celebrate as 'heroes' and those we don't. We tend to laud those who knowingly put their lives in immediate and clearly visible peril for strangers or an abstract ideal, and not those who knowingly put themselves in less immediate and visible peril for strangers or an abstract ideal. Quite rightly we honor our firemen, our police, our military for their bravery in the face of potentially violent and immediate peril. We constantly thank them for their service, and normally we provide them some of our best medical care and bereavement benefits to loved ones. Their funerals are treated differently when they die in the line of duty. We do this because they see the flames, smell the smoke, hear the gunshots, and march directly into places of imminent and unavoidable risk and we can see the flames, imagine the smoke, and hear the cannon-fire from our television sets and laptops.

If you watch the news, the stories of bravery from a couple of high school kids running in to help a old woman out of a burning building or a woman jumping into whitewater rapids to help an 11 year old boy fallen out of a boat, or a group of people wrestling a gunman get similar treatment if less formal treatment. So often all they say, is that there was no 'decision' at all. It was an instinct that took over, no calculation of risk involved. They don't see themselves as heroes at all. They think anybody would have done the same thing. But we all know better than that. So they get that feel -good story in the paper, they are lauded and we do make an effort...

The heroes we are talking about here are not treated like this at all. I have never seen a gun salute or a folded flag of a nursing aide who bathed a woman with a potentially lethal and contagious disease and nobody ever organized a relief fund for a home health nurse who caught AIDS, cleaning up blood or vomit from a dying 24 year old, getting hospice care in his apartment in the mid 80's and I doubt we will see a charitable fund for a housekeeper who ends up with in ICU for a month and loses her home, her job, and her savings to medical bills. In one sense, these acts are less 'brave' because they do not 'know' that any specific patient or any specific situation will end up with an infection, but they know that the risks increase with each bedpan, each patient, and each exposure. They are throwing the dice every day they show up. What really makes this different is that they bring that risk home to their loved ones. Cops will never bring gunfire near their kids, and firemen cannot bring flames near their mother.

Yes they know their 'universal precautions' and they also know the limitations of any 'protocol' or policy when people are involved in the equation. They already have examples of deaths among their colleagues and some will know it soon enough before they show up for their next shift. 17 doctors have died and we don't have stats on those without that prestigious piece of paper. We need to treat these heroes better, and in many cases we need to pay them more.
 

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Everything was good until the final sentence, which doesn't make any sense unfortunately.
People don't get paid randomly more just beacuse we'd like it, that's not how it works.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Everything was good until the final sentence, which doesn't make any sense unfortunately.
People don't get paid randomly more just beacuse we'd like it, that's not how it works.
I did not say 'randomly', but I did say some for a reason. If they are directly or indirectly dependent on the taxpayer then 'just because we'd like it' is exactly how it works. If we collectively decide to make it a priority, to move this wage scale up, its not hard to write the statutes than provide plenty of incentive to do it. Considering one of the biggest drags on many of these wages is the Medicaid/ medicare re-imbursement scale for services rendered in long term care, memory care, and yes, assisted living, It does not take an economic major to figure out that if Medicaid and Medicaid pays the same rate per day, as it did 5 years ago for example or is cutting back and tightening the effective re-imbursement by refusing to pay more based on acuity of care while average acuity levels of these residents is increasing, there is not a lot of room to hoist up a nurses aid wage a whole lot more. the last stats I saw said the average nursing home gets 45% of its income from Medicaid and 17% of its income source is medicare for 62% of total revenue, with private pay / private insurance and out of pocket revenue was only 32%.

These industries are very dependent on taxpayer funding.

That's about collective will pushing the right bill passing into law.
 
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