Open Thread | The Nursing Home That Took Care of Business 👏👏

I read this story a couple of times. Just got teary, because it always goes back to ‘ WHAT IF?’

WHAT IF we had competent national leadership on COVID-19?
How many lives would have been saved?😢😠




This story should be front page news, from coast to coast.

How a West Baltimore nursing home has zero COVID-19 infections |

JUN 18, 2020 AT 2:00 PM

Here’s a key question for the Rev. Derrick DeWitt, director of the Maryland Baptist Aged Home in West Baltimore, a 100-year-old nursing facility that has had no coronavirus infections: What was the moment you realized the threat was real and that you had to take action to protect your residents and staff?

“Right after President Trump said we had 15 cases and it would soon be down to zero.”

I dare not put words in a Baptist minister’s mouth, but it sounds like he listened to what the President of the United States had to say, then decided just the opposite would be true.

“It does sound like that,” Reverend DeWitt agreed.
Trump, of course, has lied or made misleading statements thousands of times. So, by the fourth February since his inauguration, none but the Trumpiest would take seriously his prediction for coronavirus.
None has occurred at the Maryland Baptist Aged Home on Rayner Avenue in West Baltimore, according to the Sun’s database of nursing home cases.

That’s because, in late February, after hearing from Trump, DeWitt believed the country faced a deadly threat of unpredictable scope. He took immediate action.

“The first thing we did was eliminate all visitations,” he says. “So family, volunteers, the church people who visit were all told they could not visit. It wasn’t too popular at first, but they understood it was for the safety of the residents.”

The Maryland Baptist Aged Home, established in the segregated-by-ordinance Baltimore of 1920, is considered the oldest African American owned and operated nursing home in the state. It has 30 residents and 21 full-time and 19 part-time employees. It is governed by the United Baptist Missionary Convention. DeWitt, pastor of First Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Sandtown-Winchester, has been chief financial officer and director of the home for seven years.

His first hire after taking the job was a nurse who specialized in infection prevention and quality control. That nurse, Nioca Osbourne, established protocols for dealing with infections and trained the staff.

“So we already had procedures in place for dealing with infections,” Reverend DeWitt says. “The next thing we did was eliminate residents going out unless it was for a crucial medical procedure. All employees who were not involved in direct care were told to stay home and work from there if they could. I personally have not been [inside the nursing home] for 11 weeks.”

The home stocked up quickly on extra masks, gloves and gowns. DeWitt scheduled his janitors so that the nursing home received thorough cleanings day and night. He asked each staff member involved in the care of residents to limit travel and contact with their family members. On reporting for work, staffers had to fill out a questionnaire about their outside activities and health conditions. “And we took their temperature three times a day,” DeWitt says.

Masks were dispensed to all the residents. Community meals were eliminated, and residents ate in their rooms. Employees were provided food so they would not have to go out for lunch or dinner. Rooms with one television and two residents got a second TV to help meet social distancing.

DeWitt and his staff did all this before seeing directives from government agencies. “We didn’t wait for guidance from the Centers for Disease Control or from the Maryland Department of Health or from Baltimore City,” he says. “We did what we thought was prudent at the very beginning of the pandemic.”

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36 Responses to Open Thread | The Nursing Home That Took Care of Business 👏👏

    • Liza says:

      Barr has decimated the DOJ. He is a truly evil man, a Hitler’s-Inner-Circle kind of guy.

      But why? I really don’t get it. It is evil without a purpose. Trump will be gone soon or maybe he doesn’t think so.

      • eliihass says:

        He’s not just complicit, he’s now actually the brainchild behind this ongoing corrupting and decimation of our democratic institutions.. Also, his imperious posturing as he brazenly and publicly orchestrates the devolution of this once highly-touted democracy, into a 4th tier banana republic..

        And for all the overblown touting of his “prowess”, “savvy”, what’s been quite odd is just how glaringly lacking and just how shoddy and often bungling, his entire mediocre operation ..and this entire pedestrian enterprise, has been..

        He’s practically Bannon’s doppelgänger ..looks, character, style ..even “intellect”.. the career government edition.. sans the unshaven, haven’t had a bath in a while, mien..

  1. eliihass says:

    LOL.. Good times..

    Wasn’t so long ago when even Democrats balked at/felt thoroughly insulted at the prospect of showing up to events where the Princeton and Harvard educated lawyer turned historic first black FLOTUS, headlined any formal government effort …exceptions were certainly made of course, when it came to her headlining fundraisers and campaign events for them..

  2. Liza says:

    Latest police killing video in Tucson, AZ.

  3. Liza says:

    Wow. Looks like the Democratic establishment candidate might be losing in KY.

    • eliihass says:

      “…Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum delivered an upset victory in Florida’s Democratic gubernatorial primary Tuesday night, toppling several well-funded candidates after a late surge in the polls and setting up a general election matchup against Trump-endorsed GOP Rep. Ron DeSantis.

      Gillum, who rallied with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) before the primary and won support from state and national progressive groups, edged ahead of former Rep. Gwen Graham in the Democratic primary, with 34 percent of the vote to Graham’s 31 percent. Gillum would be the first African-American governor of Florida if he wins, and he ran to the left of Graham, the early front-runner, capitalizing on the energy surging through the Democratic Party’s liberal wing…”

    • Liza says:

      Hey there eliihass, nice to see you back. How is everything?

      Voting in Florida has not been exactly honest since they figured out how to steal the presidency from Al Gore. They’ve probably never had an honest election. I don’t think it’s outside the realm of possibility that Andrew Gillum won the general election. What happened to him afterwards is certainly unfortunate and has ended his career in politics.

      So, moving on…

      People are getting really tired of the Democratic establishment’s handpicked candidates. They tend to be plucked from the older, whiter, uninspiring, corporate-owned, don’t-make-waves party faithful. But the establishment says, “This is the one who can win. We can’t take chances, blah blah”. These lesser known progressive candidates could also win if the Democratic party put their resources behind them. But it’s not what they want.

      Good Lord, are we ever going to enter 21st century?

      • eliihass says:

        Great to see you, our Liza..

        Kentucky is not going to elect some black guy over Mitch McConnell..

      • Liza says:

        Yeah, it’s a red state and they’ll do all they can to get Mitch re-elected. I’m not so sure the establishment Democrat lady can win either.

        It’s actually more important for the Democrats to take back the Senate than it is for Mitch to lose, although Mitch deserves to lose and in a sane world, he would.

        But I am squarely on the side of the progressives. They are younger and understand that we need to start living in the world as it is now. The corporate Democrats are lagging and holding us back. And the GOP is for all practical purposes a criminal enterprise.

        This is really starting to look like a historical moment when real change is possible. I’m always skeptical, but it does look as though younger people are waking up and realizing there is strength in numbers.

        And sometimes, in these elections, someone gets in through the back door. You never know.

        But how are YOU doing? Staying safe and well, I hope.

      • eliihass says:

        I’ve been well, thank you so much for asking.. hope you and hubby are staying safe.. and more importantly, mastering the art of defensive living by hunkering down ..seeing as how we now have to approach this as we would driving on a freeway with drunk drivers.. as far too many of our fellow humans simply aren’t taking this still unaddressed, uncontained and ever evolving virus and pandemic, as seriously as they ought to..

        The saddest part of all this is that in the supposedly greatest country in the world, there doesn’t seem to be any real plan or direction.. as many have noted, the entire idea behind the lockdown was to not only contain, but to actually tackle this virus.. have a plan.. design a safe way forward ..until the virus is better understood.. or/and while/until some sort of vaccine/treatment, or effective containment, is devised..

        But nada.. all that time squandered.. And now the country is even worse off, with a vacant, sociopathic, science-denying, stock market as the economy and economy over well-being of human beings, treasonous buffoon at the helm and leading the pandemic-denial, even as he’s safely ensconced in the endless protection, tests, safety and trappings our tax dollars undeservedly affords him and his family in this endlessly surreal Orwellian nightmare… and as knuckleheads demand their ‘freedom’ to infect and be infected, in their quest for their cheap highs.. that timeworn but true American overindulgence..

        Re: Kentucky.. several facets to the situation..

        Apart from the racial thingy, there are real fractures within the party that have only deepened/widened with social media..

        Just as many so-called progressives weren’t going to vote for Amy McGrath, there are many McGrath supporters who won’t be voting for this black guy who hasn’t exactly been nearly as ‘deft’ in the way he’s chosen to frame/interact with McGrath …who at least publicly, in media appearances, has opted for being ‘gracious’ and seemingly prioritizing ‘party unity’..

        No matter how ‘progressive’ one purports to be, there’ll be lots and lots of lessons in the future and so many more still to be learnt, about how not to completely turn off potential allies/voters.. and very importantly, how in the end, those potential allies/voters are not in fact the enemy.. and just how invaluable their support/votes ultimately are to whatever ‘progressive’ agenda and ‘progressive’ candidate(s) are being offered..

      • Liza says:

        Indeed, an “…endlessly surreal Orwellian nightmare…” Who could have imagined all of this except maybe Stephen King? We are exhausted, I see it everywhere, in everyone.

        I think we have to separate “progressive” policies from the politicians. And there is some evidence that is happening because support for “progressive” policies is growing when people are polled on specific policies. I can’t imagine being a Democrat or progressive and being opposed to universal healthcare, free college, student debt forgiveness, imposing a wealth tax, etc…We’ve been going in the wrong direction for 3.5 years and it looks as though Jeff Bezos will be a trillionaire while poor children don’t get enough food. In America.

        Leadership is a problem on the left, no question about that. I don’t know how this gets resolved. I don’t think that ramming corporate Democrats and geriatrics down our throats election after election is the answer. But I’ll vote for the Democrat, always. I have to vote for a 69 year old recovering alcoholic in my Congressional district in November. Again.

      • eliihass says:

        Progressive policies/programs are imperative and long overdue… it’s hard enough to get anything through with the GOP – a depraved, soulless opposition party that for years has managed to not only stifle progress, but strategically warp, completely corrupt our democratic processes ..heavily gerrymandering and tilting everything to work in their favor… and weirdly, even when in the minority, continuing to somehow have a stranglehold on almost every aspect of our country.. successfully controlling and framing the narrative and national conversation entirely from their right-wing perspective … with a gleeful assist from the very same mainstream press that they routinely lambast, ironically, as the ‘liberal’ media..

        As flawed as so-called establishment Democrats are, so-called progressives have had a terrible showing.. As someone who was once a Bernie supporter, I can tell you that his surrogates did/do him absolutely no favors..

        Progressive policies and initiatives are great, but it does matter the who and the how..

        Who’s carrying and selling it, and how they’re selling it..

        Toxic vessels kill even the best and most important movements and best laid plans …and any interest in whatever wonderful ‘progressive’ policies being touted..

        And as usual, the GOP wades right in to exploit the splintering, while dubiously repurposing, if that, some version of teeny bits of the progressive policy wishlist, but entirely for their warped gaslighting purposes..

        There is for what it’s worth, sometimes to be found, some value in having those senior spots in congress – an argument McConnell will surely wield and use to clobber whoever he runs against..

        But even more important, for traditional Dems and any well-intentioned ‘progressives’, I’d like to see more of the non-adversarial nurturing and hand-off from a senior retiring member to the younger folks.. there’s a lot they can learn from and teach each other.. new, updated perspectives, tactics/techniques are great, but that deep institutional knowledge is also indispensable – or else the likes of Mitch McConnell will make mincemeat of them …as the GOP continues to outwit and out-maneuver, using some obscure law that they always manage to dig up to wield some awful self-serving, bad for the greater good ‘policy’..

        I know what you mean about voting for that proverbial ‘lesser of 2 evils’.. I live in what is supposedly a deep blue ‘utopia’ (not!) where far superior potential candidates have no chance in hell because the state party has a stranglehold – and party poobahs (and a few deep-pocket donors) decide who our candidates will be …who runs and who wins.. and the field is routinely cleared to finesse the process to end up with their desired outcomes..

        And so we end up stuck with these pre-selected ‘options’ ..subpar preeners who are then propped up through the political rungs/ranks without ever really actually getting anything substantive, done.. because they’re only in it for their own ambition/aggrandizement – and only with an eye to climbing up the next political rung.. And as long as they stroke and schmooze the party poobahs and donors, their political careers are assured..squandering prime opportunities and the inherent power in these important and powerful positions …accomplishing precious little in each powerful gig.. but they can then go on to be sold to a national audience as somehow ‘the next party stars/presidential material’.. meanwhile those of us who’ve actually experienced their ‘leadership’, watched them operate with such empty mediocrity for years ..doing nothing or just simply managing to do the most basic stuff, not even living up to what they’ve been elected and paid to do, are like, huh..

        Everything’s become entirely all about and specifically and exclusively, an audition-opportunity for president/Vice President …suddenly, no other gig will suffice..

        These days, it’s gotta be President, or Vice President (with an eye to swiftly elbowing out the principal)..

        Suddenly, it’s now to heck with those same choice senate gigs that they fought and connived and elbowed others out of the field for…that exclusive senate gig that they deprived even more qualified folks who actually wanted the gig – not as a stepping stone, but to actually stay in them and do the work …folks who’ve worked hard, earned their way, and waited patiently for years to compete for that spot, were in the end, deprived of that gig by a poobah-backed, self-aggrandizing preener.. but now, only a hot minute in, and with a few paid “influencer” amplified insincere platitudes here, and more pandering there.. it’s once again, all about agitating to be undeservedly propped-up the next political rung..

        Lather, rinse, repeat..

        We’re now watching same folks talk up sleazy Gavin Newsom as ‘presidential material’ 🙄..sure, he has more going for him – and he certainly hasn’t completely messed up the pandemic response like say, dum-dum Ron DeSantis or Doug Doucey …but, gee, what a low, low bar..

        We can, and should, and must do so much better..

      • Liza says:

        Well said. I keep thinking that the really hard lesson of these last 20 years or so, perhaps beginning with Dubya, is that the minority can seize power and rule, and they can do it for a long time. Trump, of course, is their logical conclusion, where they’ve been headed. And now they see no alternative but to prop up the most corrupt administration in American history and to run their monster in another presidential election.

        The Democrats have believed for a very long time that they could just outvote the GOP, that they should focus on getting out the vote. But all the while the GOP kept honing their strategies for minority rule. And what is so unfortunate is that this country has too many people who are too uneducated, ignorant, and/or racist to understand what they have given up and what has been squandered.

        It can’t go on. There will be change either through grassroots, populist movements here at home or through external influences. The world doesn’t stop and wait while the US tries to figure out the 21st century. Right now what they see is a nation with such inept, corrupt leadership that 125K people died in the pandemic (so far) when tens of thousands of those could have been saved. And we’re going to lead the world?

        I guess we just have to pray that this is our lowest point, politically. The worst of the economic fallout is yet to come.

  4. Liza says:

    All they need is training, right? Sensitivity training.

  5. Liza says:

    What kind of kid plays a violin for homeless animals? I’ll tell you, a very special child. Someone who would have become a phenomenal person had he not been murdered for no reason.

  6. nedhamson says:

    This story has appeared elsewhere – I think I saw it on Reddit but it needs broader coverage to be sure.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😊😊😊

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