Here are a few of my predictions based entirely on watching the numbers.
posted by Julie Shamas –
If you don’t already, you will soon know someone with COVID-19. Many someones. Community spread is rampant. I went from seeing a case or two a week to 20 or more a day. You will know someone who dies.
We know that some component of this is airborne and/or aerosolized. There are many, many studies showing this. Six feet is arbitrary and wrong, based on old data. We know that it stays in the air and floats around for hours in closed spaces like offices, and yes, schools. Six feet doesn’t work.
Recommendations are being downplayed politically. You can disagree with me all you like. You are wrong. We need more protections, not fewer.
We do not have sufficient testing, tracers, etc. Lines are hours if not days long. People can’t get tested. How do I know? They come to my ER begging because they can’t go anywhere else. And almost everyone I am testing is positive.
We are not, in any way, adequately contact tracing.
Hospitalization rates are rising. Our pandemic essentially began two to three weeks ago in this area. Suddenly we had a ton of patients, mostly not sick. Now several weeks later they are sicker and having to be hospitalized. The hospitals are closing to surgeries in a tiered fashion, but just about every hospital in the Tampa Bay area has done this as our ICU’s and hospitals were filling up with COVID-19 patients.
Unfortunately, death rates lag by about two weeks. I’m already starting to see this number climb. When you compare our current curves to what New York looked like 7-10 days before they reported horrible death rates, it is scarily similar. Expect this to come.
While we do have a better feel for management of this disease than we did several months ago, we still do not have a true treatment. We also know of the many complications that will occur. These occur in young and old. Yes, the older you are and the more infirm, the more likely to die. But that does not mean that the young and healthy are not horribly sick. Please act responsibly.
Many of my patients begin with, “I only saw a few good friends,” or “I just ate out and sat outside.” We are in a pandemic, please isolate. Your exceptions can cause spread, illness, and yes, death for those you love.
The saddest thing is the family clusters. I know you miss your families. But for their sake please stay apart.
Schools, sports teams, and camps spread COVID-19. Anyone who tells you otherwise is simply lying. There are so many cases and examples of this in the news. Eighty-two cases at a summer camp. Cases where a child catches it at a sports even and brings it home to infect the family and others. There is a reason why summer sports teams and preseason practices keep shutting down. And yes, they were outside.
The idea that there will be sports this year is just ludicrous. Schools will open, and then close. Teachers and students will get sick. Masks are an absolute, and yet probably they won’t enforce them and kids won’t follow the rules. Even the American Association of Pediatrics has said that if your area is facing an increase of rates, don’t open. Don’t believe the hype that they all supported opening. They didn’t. They said “if it was safe.” It simply isn’t.
Schools are going to be a mess. Politics should stay out of it. We are in a rising pandemic zone. Serious consideration should be given to increased levels of isolation, and yes, stay at home orders. Essential business only. I’m sorry if this is economically inconvenient. The economy won’t improve if we don’t get a handle on this illness. And right now it is spiraling out of control.
You are tired. I’m tired. We are bored. We are lonely. I get it. But here is the thing. The virus does not care. It doesn’t care that you have had enough and just “had” to get out and see your friends and family. It doesn’t care at all. But you will, eventually. I promise. Yes, that sounds dire. I hope you listen.
I am exhausted at work. Multiple staff members have it. This despite wearing two masks and goggles at all times. The virus doesn’t care, and we are catching it anyway.