Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. New posts: Mondays & Wednesdays.
I’m deep diving into a new research project for a few weeks. There’s lots to read and lots to learn, before I’ll be equipped to evaluate certain events in their proper historical context.
I am planning, though, to see my elderly father in person during this time, rather than via video call. He lives hours away in a long term care facility. Since March, for his own safety and the safety of others, he has been confined there by government edict.
Two staff members tested positive at his facility and were quickly isolated, but so far nothing worse has happened. It’s a similar story in most of the long term care facilities here in Ontario, Canada. But not in all.
Yes, it’s normal for people to die in these facilities. Staff members and residents both know this. The first friend my father made died two years later. What isn’t normal is for dozens of people to die during a six month period.
As the chart at the bottom of this page shows, in a minority of my province’s long-term care homes, things have been dreadful. In one 233-bed facility, 70 people died. In a 236-bed facility, 68 perished. Other facilities have experienced 64 deaths, 61 deaths, 53 deaths. 48 deaths. And so on.
With luck, the worst is behind us. Long term care residents are now permitted day trips. The plan is to take my father to his favourite restaurant one day, and for a social distance visit with extended family the next.
See you soon!