Among the many practically 6,000 folks whose deaths have been linked to the coronavirus in Sweden, 2,694, or 46 %, had been amongst these dwelling in nursing properties.
That tragedy is partially the story of how Sweden has, over many years, steadily but relentlessly downgraded its famously beneficiant social security web, report Peter S. Goodman and Erik Augustin Palm.
When the pandemic hit, the nursing employees on the Sabbatsbergsbyn nursing house within the middle of Stockholm discovered itself grappling with an unattainable scenario.
It was the center of March, and several other of the 106 residents, most of them struggling dementia, have been already displaying signs of Covid-19. The employees needed to be devoted to particular person wards whereas rigorously avoiding getting into others to forestall transmission. However when the staff introduced this plan to the supervisors, they dismissed it, citing meager staffing, stated one nurse, who spoke on the situation on anonymity, citing considerations about potential authorized motion.
The power was owned and operated by Sweden’s largest for-profit operator of nursing properties, Attendo, whose inventory trades on the Nasdaq Stockholm alternate. Final yr, the corporate tallied revenue in extra of $1.three billion.
On weekends and through evening shifts, the nurse was often the one one on obligation. The remainder of the employees lacked correct protecting gear, stated the nurse and a care aide, who spoke on situation of anonymity for worry of being fired. Administration had given them primary cardboard masks — “the type home painters put on,” the nurse stated — whereas instructing them to make use of the identical ones for days in a row. Some used plastic file folders and string to make their very own visors.
By the point the nurse give up in Could, no less than 20 residents have been lifeless, she stated.
“The way in which we needed to work went in opposition to all the things we realized at school relating to illness management,” the nurse stated. “I felt ashamed, as a result of I knew that we have been spreaders.”