Covid in the Fall

in STEMGeeks5 months ago

         I'm sure many of you are aware, especially if you are in the US. News of surging Covid cases across the country look grim as we enter the holiday season. Several days ago, I received texts from a friend about things happening on the hospital floor. His wife is a respiratory therapist.

         I haven't kept up on stats for a couple of months now because my workload had returned to normal volume. Thus, my department has been busy getting work done where time and staff permit. We are still understaffed, but we are managing.

         Today, I received an emergency broadcast from the State of Utah on my phone.

         Smaller social gatherings might be somewhat difficult for people with large families. And this is Utah we are talking about. Lots of people have huge families. I guess people would have to utilize the technology we have this holiday. This doesn't affect my Thanksgiving plans. Unfortunately, New Year's might be a bit different.

         I figured it would be a good time to check on the Covid stats for Utah on the government website.

         In short, it looks like the percentages I've seen in regards to the pandemic haven't changed. I remember the 5% hospitalization from all positives and the 1% ICU admittance rate. What changed this time is the raw number of active positive cases across the state.

         It seems scary that we have used up almost 3/4 of all the ICU beds in the region. However, I have no idea what the normal percent of occupation was before the pandemic. You'd think hospitals would like to keep occupancy high to keep the revenue rolling.

         My medical director only hopes our healthcare system doesn't get overwhelmed. He leans more towards more drastic measures in curbing the spread. But, at this point, it is too late for that. I must admit, it's weird seeing him looking like he's defeated.

         On the flip side, my immunology professor thinks the economic impact is far greater. Bad policies have caused sufferings that the media don't talk about. The suicides, the job losses, the divorces and separations, etc. It's not that the virus isn't real. It's that the policy makers compounded the problems. To him, the thing that matters now is to mitigate the damage, and not only on the healthcare front.

         I often wonder how we will look back in history 10 years from now. To look at the pandemic and the way various governments have responded to it. If nothing else, I hope we can learn about the various effects it had on people. I'm not only talking about the infectious disease side of Covid. The social, political, etc. aspects of the pandemic should be interesting to dissect. It is also my hope that should we encounter a similar future event, we could look back and consider all the factors. Factors that affect not only the spread, but different parts of our civilizations.

         Let's hope it doesn't destroy our country first.

Posted with STEMGeeks


Despite the apparent failures in mitigating the problem, Indonesia recently has its long holidays (5-6 days) where people roam around freely to travel. I am not that hopeful if the country is going to recover soon. There's barely a synergy between the government and its people. The media here is starting to cover job loss, suicide and basically the other side of this pandemic. Even with all of these, unfortunately some of the young educated ones think this pandemic is a scam (heard this in a cafe conversation) not just once.

 5 months ago 

Goes to show how education doesn't necessarily mean sound judgment.

It seems like, if you want to limit spread, the only thing that works is to throw out civil liberties. I'm not keen on that approach, obviously.

If that's the only thing that works, and we're not going to do it, then maybe we should try to limit non-viral impact. But the political class is not keen on that, obviously.

So instead, we're doing neither and getting the downsides of both.

 5 months ago 

Not just central government, but also social pressure as well as cooperation from the private sector, which are often interrelated. For example, Taiwan has done really well.

And I agree what we are experiencing is the worst of both worlds because we half-assed both.

That is very similar to what I have been thinking. While I understand the virus is no joke, I also understand that we need to look at the economic impact of the disease as well. What good would it do if we stop the virus, but simultaneously increase the suicide rate to the point where the number of monthly deaths is the same, but from a different cause. What good is it if we stop the virus, but the economy is destroyed, and people can't afford food, resulting in massive starvation? Too many people ignore the psychological, social, and economic impacts of the disease, and focus only on the deaths caused directly by the virus itself. You earned another follower.

 5 months ago 

It might be a bit late to deal with that now.

We've been running slim on hospital space in Idaho. The governor just re-implemented restrictions. It's pretty unpopular with some popular politicians, but I think it's the right move. People will get sick. I don't think stopping the spread is a worthwhile goal, but having somewhere to go when you get sick is worthy. We can do it easy enough - I suspect most people would be decent about it and help, but something about being told they must be decent really pisses them off and they act with complete disregard for their fellow man. Give them a wide berth and move on. Assholes gonna asshole.

We haven't even had any of the "lockdown" type scenarios that may have been required in more densely populated areas. People just hear about it on twitter and want to go cough on others to gain a feeling of righteousness. It's insane

They claim it's in protest to "tyranny" but these same people aren't out stripping on the sidewalks to protest nudity laws. They aren't picking the locks on schools to exercise their freedom of assembly. They aren't clear-cutting the forests. They aren't strip-mining mountains into valleys. Something about disease must really get their goat

 5 months ago 

Yeah, given some people’s mentality, it’s not possible to stop the spread.

I wonder if we'll actually learn from it though. The decision making process world-wide was panic based, rather than well thought out. It seems a tad bit ridiculous that we were on lockdown when the virus had low numbers and then after many months of spread, lockdown was released and we're only worse.

If the lockdown period was suppose to lead to better understanding of the virus, then it was a total failure.

In the event of another outbreak, probably like 100 years from now, humans will still resort to panic first, rather than actually go through a well thought out approach. It is just human nature to fuck shit up

 5 months ago 

If the lockdown period was suppose to lead to better understanding of the virus, then it was a total failure.

Yup, I totally agree with your sentiments.

I agree, that's why I hate it when people say "follow the science." I am very pro-science, but I also understand that following science requires rational thought, and you can not think rationally when panicking.

It's happening here too, we have these tiers of lockdown which are not full lockdown but are still failing to contain the 'R number' rising. Will be a full one again here soon... you can't go out.. etc.., have you have these full lockdowns in the US?

 5 months ago 

There are no such lockdowns in my state, so far.

I am concerned what this would mean in a few weeks. Cases are spiking right now. Deaths will follow in a few weeks. It might get ugly. And my state only has 3.2M people.

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