The pandemic has been more severe in the United States than globally for months – and now things are getting worse very, very quickly.
Yesterday, there were over 159,000 new cases diagnosed, which broke a record set the day before. There are entire states that are out of intensive care beds – or hospital beds in general. In some states, hospitals have to triage patients and turn some away who would benefit from care in favor of other patients who are sicker but have a higher chance of recovery.
Some places are so short-staffed that COVID-positive staff are continuing to work if their symptoms allow.
The hospitalization rate is also a lagging indicator. If the hospitals are this stressed now, what will the situation be in two weeks, given the huge numbers of new diagnoses this week?
I’ve reached a new level of dread.
New York State, where I live, still has one of the lowest infection rates in the country. Governor Cuomo is tightening restrictions on gyms, indoor dining and gatherings, as well as further ramping up testing and contact tracing in hot spots. Unfortunately, after all these months, there is an outbreak among residents in the skilled nursing unit of my father’s senior living community, as well as a number of staff members. The health center is in a separate building from where Paco lives in an apartment, so we are hoping the virus won’t spread, but it is very worrying for all of us.
And what, you may ask, is the Trump administration doing to address the explosion of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths?
Vice-president Pence, who chairs the coronavirus task force, finally held a meeting this week after several weeks without doing so during the campaign. There were no new actions or recommendations after the meeting.
Meanwhile, President-elect Biden has named a first-rate committee of physicians and public health experts to set up the plan against COVID for his administration, which will begin January 20th. Unfortunately, because the Trump administration refuses to acknowledge that Biden will be taking office, the Biden task force does not have access to the current plans in development for vaccine deployment, distribution of supplies, etc., which is an appalling and dangerous state of affairs.
What is even more appalling and dangerous is that, with the situation becoming more and more dire daily, the Trump administration is making no attempt at all to save people for illness, disability, and death.
I’m finding the level of stress and dismay crushing.
People desperately need help now.
January 20th is still a long way off.