Tuesday December 01, 2020
WN: The article highlighted is heart-wrenching! The gross absolutely unfeeling negligence and incompetence of the White House makes one wish to scream bloody murder to high heaven! It’s a slow-moving endlessly replaying (like the movie Groundhog Day) train wreck exponentially exacerbated by an Administration mercilessly bereft of know-how or empathy.
By any standard of competency or human decency, the entire Administration should have been fired within the first month of the pandemic for the unmitigated horror and danger it has universally foisted upon health care workers–alone! The “System” is impossibly broken. This, in the wealthiest nation on earth, “Home of the Free”, a “Shining City on a Hill”–Indeed!
Like any tsunami, the wave started innocuously enough. Even disconcertingly calmly. Elective surgeries weren’t scheduled over the Thanksgiving holiday anyway, and the glut of open beds meant that the emergency department, for once, had a manageable caseload. Of course, this was all relative: A half-dozen nurses and technicians were out with COVID-19 because a patient came in with a fractured shoulder (and no other symptoms). When the X-rays came back, boom: They showed the telltale sign of a COVID-19 infection: hazy “ground glass” infiltrates in the lungs. The patient was an asymptomatic superspreader who would never have known they had COVID-19 if they hadn’t fallen off a ladder putting up Christmas decorations.
Beyond that, though, the department has been running on half staff for months now. The 10-year retention rate for ER nurses and technicians is around 5%, even when there isn’t a global pandemic. The hospital’s inability to hire more in the interim—a combination of budget constraints and lack of providers who want to take jobs on the very the bleeding edge of the COVID-19 crisis—hasn’t helped any. But at least the staffing levels were merely woeful instead of critical. Over the next few days, however, things began to turn rapidly.
No emergency department anywhere was designed to be able to handle a mass casualty event lasting for days or weeks.
Effective intervention was needed from the get-go. A coordinated message to push for masking. Using the Defense Production Act to make sure there was enough personal protective equipment to go around. Onshoring critical national security supply lines. Keeping schools and teachers safe. Not forcing working-class folks and small business owners to choose between paying bills and getting sick or dying.
And while these front-line providers may recognize that federal failure logically, their conscience will never allow them to believe that.
Please click on: COVID-19 Tsunami