I have been repeating the statistics of COVID=19 to myself, my family, and friends. I think about it a lot. I have been a part of the outbreak committee at the hospital, and I helped write the inpatient protocol for the care of COVID-19 patients. Everyday I watch medical updates on the situation, and I scan the journals looking for information.
- I am impressed that more of the world is not usually sick. If the number of illness we have now from corona virus overwhelm the healthcare system, yet this number is still such a small percentage of the human population, it means that very few of us in general are severely sick at one time. I would have thought more of us were usually ill. I guess I have a population bias since I work in healthcare. But still, it is remarkable so few of us in normal times are not more sick. Our immune systems are remarkable.
- I feel anxiety just like everyone else does. I understand statistics, infection rates, mortality rates, treatment options (or the lack of them). What I do not picture well is what our baseline ability in regards to healthcare infrastructure is, nor what it is like if everyone in the world gets sick at the same time. The healthcare system is a lean system. Every organization is set up to try and not have too many excess beds, because they cost money to maintain. You want to balance your healthcare infrastructure again the usual needs of a population and the cost of supporting that infrastructure. Hospitals like to be relatively full. They also like turnover. They want patients to come in and go out quickly. I have worked in ICUs and ERs in normal times when ICUs have been full in the hospital where I was working, and I have called other hospitals for a transfer, and their ICUs were full as well. That was during normal times. It must be much tougher now.
- The current news climate drives me crazy. It has for a long time. I loved watching the news in my mid 20s, but I stopped by the late 1990s. I did not like how it had changed into just opinion. I felt like I could never get facts. It is the same situation now. I will click on a terrible sounding headline, but the article will not be as bad. And the article will have big holes of information. I know I likely read with a more critical eye looking for specific facts to help me form a good medical opinion and medical statistics is a hard subject to understand. However I think the point of journalism is to understand and then report so we all understand. This is no new idea, but sometimes I think they are just wanting to entertain more than inform. I want understanding.
- Some good news . . . it looks like Italy is flattening a bit. That took about six weeks which is what it appears to be taking around the world. That is just my impression. We will see what happens elsewhere.