COVID Surges Across US, Hospitals Already Having Trouble Coping

Composite+image+by+the+author.

Composite image by the author.

Madison Raap, Managing Editor

Imagine going to a hospital just for them to turn you away. Or worse going to a hospital and having no one there to care for you. 

This fear is quickly coming to life. Many healthcare workers are getting sick themselves or are just swamped by the amount of patients and cases they have to handle. 

The reason there is an inadequate amount of workers is explained by Emergency Medicine physician Dr. Leana Wen, “The difference between what’s happening now versus what happened before is that the virus is everywhere now.” Before the virus was more widespread and hospitals with a lower number of cases could send their workers to places that needed the extra help. 

Our nation reached the highest number of COVID-19 cases it’s had since the pandemic began, which was 136,325 on Tuesday. 

If you didn’t think hospitals could just shut down, you were wrong.

COVID patients aren’t the only ones being turned away either. Many patients who need transplants, surgeries, and other hospitalizations are being turned away or asked to leave as they need to make more space for COVID patients. 

The workers are forced to decide what patients are “more important” than the other ones, which goes against everything they learned as doctors about helping and caring for patients. 

This shortage of healthcare workers has gotten to the point where some hospitals are allowing their staff, who have corona, to continue to work. North Dakota’s governor’s office stated that workers who have the corona can continue to work, “so long as they remain asymptomatic and additional precautions are taken as recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the North Dakota Department of Health to protect the worker and the community.” 

Along with the healthcare workers continuing to work even though they have COVID, many workers are coming out of retirement to help the healthcare effort. 

Many healthcare workers are simply exhausted and mad that, as one nurse put it, “People aren’t social distancing. People aren’t wearing masks.They plead for people to not just think about themselves but also think about the healthcare system that is now being overrun by COVID cases.