Editorial – 05 Aug 2020

We have the potential arrival of new 90-minute tests to detect coronavirus and flu next week. Good to hear that care homes will be one of the first sectors to benefit from them.

At the moment, up to three quarters of test results are returned within 24 hours, and the remainder take up to two days.

Last month, the Government pulled one of the testing kits for care homes because of safety concerns. This unfortunately left many care homes short on tests and unable to implement visiting times, much to their dismay. Also, regular testing in care homes should have started 06.07.2020 but now we are being told by officials that this may not happen until the beginning of September. Where does that leave relatives wanting to visit their loved ones?

Granted, some care homes have been brilliantly inventive with a visiting ‘pod’ for relatives, a curtain so residents could have hugs from their loved ones and lots have initiated video calls but it really is not the same, you absolutely can’t beat seeing someone in person, to talk and to hug. A privilege denied to many at this time. The human race thrives on touch and social interaction.

One of my friends is having problems with her dad. He was diagnosed with dementia last year, but was full of life, active and happy. Since lockdown this year, he has become more withdrawn, and has lost interest in everything and everyone around him. Was this due to lockdown? Or would it have happened that quickly anyway? With his social activities being severely curtailed, lockdown may have accelerated it, but this is something we will never know for sure.

Going back to these new 90-minute tests, these are all well and good but I do hope they are accurate and can enable us to go about life in a more normal manner, whatever normal can be called these days?

Lin Mason
Associate
Brunswicks Law Limited

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