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The COVID-19 pandemic would be a wake-up call for America, advocates for the elderly predicted: incontrovertible proof that the nation wasn't doing enough to care for vulnerable older adults.

The death toll was shocking, as were reports of chaos in nursing homes and seniors suffering from isolation, depression, untreated illness, and neglect. Around 900,000 older adults have died of COVID to date, accounting for three of every four Americans who have perished in the pandemic.

But decisive actions that advocates had hoped for haven't materialized. Today, most people, and government officials, appear to accept COVID as a part of ordinary life. Many seniors at high risk aren't getting antiviral therapies for COVID, and most older adults in nursing homes aren't getting updated vaccines.

Efforts to strengthen care quality in nursing homes and assisted living centers have stalled amid debate over costs and the availability of staff. And only a small percentage of people are masking or taking other precautions in public despite a new wave of COVID, flu, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections hospitalizing and killing seniors.

In the last week of 2023 and the first 2 weeks of 2024 alone, 4,810 people 65 and older lost their lives to COVID, according to data provided by the CDC. Head over to MedPage Today to read more about it.