When does it get to the point when older people are dispensable?
We are living in an extraordinary time. And extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures.
But if there is one notion that should send a shiver through any civilisation it is that the old can go to the wall simply because they are the most vulnerable.
Under the coronavirus crisis the country’s care homes are becoming a ticking time bomb. At least 13
residents have died in care homes in the last few days.
Not a high number when compared the ever rising total, but a disproportionate one.
And it is likely to get far worse without more stringent steps to protect the elderly.
Care homes are being neglected in the Government strategy for battling the virus.
Lack of protective equipment for carers ensures infection can be carried between different homes, exposing some of our most vulnerable to the disease.
(Image: Getty Images)
The right to care and the dignity of life is being denied those who deserve our greatest respect in the physical, mental and emotional twilight of their lives.
We are on dangerous ground when the medical profession’s leaders say, as they have, that those less likely to survive will receive no treatment.
The Government must act to prevent the contagion raging through care homes.
It must get protective equipment to all carers. It must prevent the movement of unprotected, and possibly infected, agency workers moving from one care home to another.
And, above all, it must implement a thorough testing regime so that we know who is infected and who isn’t.
Testing is the key to both beating the virus and providing an exit map out of the crisis.
But on this, like every critical factor in the management of the crisis the Government is found wanting.
Whether it’s vital ventilators, personal protection equipment, death tolls, testing or help for companies and people in urgent need, action and answers are missing.
The nation’s right to accurate information is frustrated by confusion, false promises changes, or absence, of strategy.
It pains us to say this at a time of national emergency. But the Government needs to tighten up its act. Quickly.