On September 16, my father died.
He lived the last six months of his life entirely cut off from his family and friends. That’s because he was one of the 1.3 million people living in nursing homes across the country.
He didn’t have Covid-19, but even though the disease didn’t take his life, it took his time. It took his last months away from him, during which he couldn’t enjoy the relationships he’d spent his life building. And research suggests this isolation might have hastened his decline.
I’m sad, and angry. And I know I’m not alone.
Before my father’s decline, he was a preeminent scholar of Black religious history. As brilliant as he’d been, I wasn’t sure, at the end of his...