03 Jan Never Before…
Never before have we seen healthcare leadership put out communications asking community help to reduce visits to their organizations. COVID-19 has brought about many changes to norms and saying never before has evolved into normal for the 2020s. Local and national news stations carried the message to not visit the emergency department.
Yet, we know that many of the patients who were delayed in their care as hospitals and their ICUs filled with COVID-19 patients on critical lifesaving devices. We know that because as soon as the peak slowed, hospitals saw record volumes of patients seeking surgery.
As a majority of people sought to be vaccinated, then boosted, special announcements were put out for patients who have some level of immune compromise, like transplant patients. And if you are a researcher or just interested in the science behind wearing a mask, this study shows that in predictive modeling:
Both models showed a significant impact under (near) universal masking when at least 80% of a population is wearing masks, versus minimal impact when only 50% or less of the population is wearing masks. Their models estimated that 80 to 90% masking would eventually eliminate the disease.
As a healthcare communicator, I can say never before have I written or read so many pleas from hospital leaders asking for people to trust the medical teams at their health care organizations. Full page ads were place by east coast hospital systems with just the word “HELP” begging for people to reduce their exposure to COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 or Corona virus.
Whatever you choose to call the virus that has caused a worldwide pandemic, you should be aware that these leaders would not be telling you to stay away from the very organization where months before they were spending marketing dollars to ask you or tell you why you should choose their organization, the very organization where they earn their income and are judged on their ability to maintain positive budgets if it wasn’t a crisis…believe me!
There are new innovations in health care caused by the pandemic, like informative website and centers to care for long-COVID that has become an ADA named disability.
No matter what you believe, medical experts know that wearing a mask, keeping a safe social distance, being vaccinated and boosted is the best way to combat COVID 19, so you don’t find yourself in an ICU on a ventilator or ECMO that takes over for your lungs and heart so they can rest and hopefully recover. Every person has to evaluate their risk to the vaccine, but note that the risk to heart damage, lung damage, brain or neurological damage is highly likely in severe and even some “mild” cases as we are seeing in the OMICRON variant.
Personally, I have seen a loved one on a ventilator. His entire life depended on the nurse to operate the machine and keep the settings and the drugs at the right level. I also know people who ended up in ICU from COVID before the Delta variant who lost all their hair, damaged their lungs to the point where working was a struggle to make it through two hours. And there are those who I know that didn’t end up in the hospital but still have trouble walking up and down a flight of stairs and still can’t taste or smell.
I also personally know many physicians, nurses and respiratory therapists who have been traumatized from what they have seen, the death and human suffering is beyond description.
If you happen to run across this blog and believe that it’s your body so it’s your choice, consider how many people your choice affects — it’s not just your body — it is the body, soul and mind of our health care providers, the healthcare leaders, the guys who clean the hospital rooms and set up the bags of drips and drugs, and take the bodies out to the refrigerated truck now called the morgue. Oh, and your family who are left behind. Who it doesn’t affect are the politicians and the media representatives who are vaccinated but say they aren’t. God only knows why they want you to die.