June 30, 2020 at 7:45 PM EDT
Caregivers on the front lines in nursing homes risk health, safety during pandemic
In the parking lot of an assisted-living center in southern Illinois, Shalla McBride sat in a Buick stocked with hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes and prayed for her mother to watch over her.
In mid-May, two weeks after her mother died and with an asthmatic toddler at home, McBride pushed open her car door. She had spent 18 months as a resident assistant in the assisted-living center, working, much like her mother, to care for the residents who needed her. McBride said she decided it was no time to quit, despite the risks.
More than four months into the pandemic, nursing home caregivers say they have been largely left to fend for themselves even as coronavirus outbreaks continue to overwhelm facilities across the country.
By Shawn Mulcahy, Areeba Shah and Joel Jacobs