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Retirement homes are waiting on instructions concerning rapid tests

The director of the Centre for the blind, visually impaired, and elderly in Škofja Loka, Silva Košnjek, assoc. prof. Robert Masten from the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Department of Psychology, and Jelko Kacin, the government spokesperson, participated at the afternoon press conference about the current COVID-19 status.

Robert Masten

Robert Masten | Author Nebojša Tejić/STA

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A total of 53 new infections were identified in retirement homes yesterday. The total number of actively infected residents now stands at 2531. 26 more employees were infected newly yesterday, and the total number went up to 948. The highest increase of infections in residents was detected at DSO Kočevje (7), DSO Lendava (10), and in the Dom Lukavci special care home (21). Positive news was received from three retirement homes. There are reports of 73 cured residents at the Petrovo Brdo special care unit at DSO Podbrdo, 39 cured at DSO Nova Gorica, and 11 cured at DSO Grosuplje.

Mrs Košnjek began by describing their fight with the virus from the day of the first infection in the care home on 28 September. It was brought in by a Covid-positive resident on her return from the hospital. The virus spread very quickly to other residents within 14 days, and there were 33 Covid-positive residents on 16 October. The crisis plan, which was drafted in line with the first wave experience in spring, did not suffice at that moment. On 17 and 18 October, they changed the neighbouring primary school’s gym into a red zone, to which they transferred more than 30 residents. These numbers were the peak of the second wave in their care home, and the number of positive cases had been reducing for many weeks from that moment on. There were approximately ten positive cases when the numbers again began to increase slowly in the previous week. This time, one of the employees was infected. Mrs Košnjek says that it is impossible to completely prevent employees from getting infected, despite the protective equipment. Employees are working 13 hour work shifts, followed by a day off, and then returning to work for many days in a row. Visits are prohibited, except in special circumstances. They do the tests themselves, because they have their own health clinic. All employees are tested with PCR tests. They are waiting on instructions from the Ministry of Health concerning rapid tests.

Mr Masten talked about the situation of the elderly, who have been living alone or with their immediate family. 

The psychologist wants us to ask ourselves every day: What matters? Many people will recognise the wisdom of our mountain climber who wrote: “He who seeks the goal will remain empty when they reach it; but he who finds the way, will forever carry the goal with him.” No path is possible without a clear and deeper choice on what decisions are worth pursuing. It is possible, but why would a man persist on a difficult path if they see no deeper, personal meaning? Mr Masten therefore believes that everyday problems and banalities of life become bearable on this made-up path. It is easier to identify which things may be given up without loss. But when a man sets off on a path, he will always find fellow travellers who share with him the reasons for their journey, said our second guest.