November 13, 2020

The other pandemic

As the number of cases increases, hospitalizations lag, but they are sure to rise. We are better able to prevent deaths compared to 6 months ago, lowering the death rate, still twice what the flu’s death rate. But again, deaths will lag- usually 3 weeks after hospitalization. Some states are finally understanding and calling for mandates for masking and return to shut down mode. I hope we can start to turn the gigantic ship that is the United States of America.

We need to be aware of the next tsunami that puts us all at risk: burnout of physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, and all the other health care providers that keep our fractured health care system running. This is an increasing problem and is sure to worsen as this new wave threatens. Doctors and nurses are not only burning out, but they are becoming ill from COVID 19. Shortages in rural areas threaten care for all patients. Almost 1400 health care workers have died in the US from COVID already. Heartbreaking, really.

I still have a hard time understanding why people are more worried about their personal freedom than their own lives, the lives of their loved ones, and the lives of the people who will care for them in the hospital if they were to get sick. But their news sources have convinced them the virus and deaths are all faked. It will take years to reverse course from the damage done.

Wash you hands, cover your nose, keep safe six, and check your sources and share them with friends.

And finally, my caveat is that this is my experience and my opinions, which are subject to change as more information is available, and not related to the organization I work for. Thanks for reading.

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/11/third-surge-breaking-healthcare-workers/617091/

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2020/11/13/world/covid-19-coronavirus-updates

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2020/aug/11/lost-on-the-frontline-covid-19-coronavirus-us-healthcare-workers-deaths-database

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02800-9