We certainly are not at a loss for issues to be distressed about, obviously some far worse than others. One situation that is particularly troubling is that hospitals are running at 100 percent-plus capacity.
Several years of experience as a national consultant in emergency departments with 51 years experience as an RN has given me a front-row seat in the debate over what the optimal occupancy of any hospital or health care system should be. The one point that every system would agree on is that the ideal hospital census is not 100 percent.
The safety valve for this prolonged high census is typically the emergency department. With the hospital full, patient care becomes backed up. The fear would be that the inevitable emergencies in the community, e.g. cardiac episodes, stroke incidents, respiratory failures, and trauma, to name a few, would have nowhere to be treated. Additionally, diverting patients to other close hospitals is not a viable option as all of the hospitals are facing the same challenges The strain on staff and resources needed to care for this volume of patients is overwhelming. This is just to mention a few of the ramifications of running at maximum capacity.
What to do? Do not give in to this virus. It is tough and it is a killer!! Face it down. Wear the mask, wash the hands, and respect the social distance guidelines. Stay safe!