As families flock back into nursing homes that reopened to limited visits in April and widely this month, tens of thousands no longer have mothers, fathers, grandparents and siblings to hug and to hold.
With graves so fresh that some still don’t have headstones, grieving families across the nation are increasingly demanding a reckoning, turning to lawyers to try to ascertain why almost half of France’s almost 30,000 COVID-19 deaths hit residents of nursing homes, scything through the generations that came of age after World War I, endured the next world conflict and helped rebuild the country.
Many homes had few, even no deaths. But others are emerging having lost scores in their care. Increasingly, homes are facing death lawsuits accusing them of skimping on personnel and protective equipment, and lying to the measures they took to prevent infections as well as families about how their loved ones died.
Because COVID-19 proved particularly deadly nursing homes across the planet quickly found themselves on the front lines of the pandemic. In America, nursing home residents account for almost 1 in 10 cases of Coronavirus and over a quarter of the deaths. In Europe, care home residents account from one-third to almost two-thirds of the deceased in many nations.
Many houses sealed off themselves, to stave off diseases. The authorities closed access to the 7,400 Medical facilities of the country for the most dependent adults on March 11. But by that time, the Coronavirus was starting to take its toll.