One of the most alarming aspects of this Covid-19 pandemic has been how it has stretched, crippled and overwhelmed the health services of even the most developed nations. We're not talking about poor "third world" nations that barely have a health service (to the extent they do its only available to the rich). We're talking about modern, wealthy, developed nations mainly in the West, with modern health services, regarded as among the best in the world, with advanced medical technology & resources. With capacities to at least deal with a crisis and even they have been devastated by Covid-19.
You read stories of hospitals overflowing with patients, running out of masks and ventilators, many don't have appropriate protective gear so they have to make do. Morgues too overflowing. Surgeries cancelled to make room for Covid patients. Many doctors and nurses saying they have never experienced anything like this before. Some are resorting to desperate measures such as throwing medicine students straight in to plug the gaps. Unprecedented.
Some of this is partially because of years of austerity that have cut the health services to their bare essentials leaving no spare capacity or enough resources for them to better deal with potential shocks like Covid-19. But I don't think anyone could've predicted just how much of a shock this global pandemic would be, or that it would bring the health & medical services of the West to its knees.
Then you have the fact that more and more doctors nurses and medics are getting infected, which underlines just how contagious this virus is. In Spain & Italy thousands of nurses have tested positive for the virus. I think 63 doctors in Italy have died because of the virus. 1 in 4 doctors in the UK it has been reported are self isolating because they are sick or have suspected symptoms.It's a vicious cycle. The more overwhelmed health services get, the more likely doctors, nurses & professionals are to get infected. The more that are infected, the less there are to deal with increasing patients, which means they get even more overwhelmed.
Everything is so soul destroying to see.
I feel so sorry for these health professionals who are literally guarding us while we sleep. Not only for their physical health, but for their emotional & mental well being. They are brave and have done more work in a day than I've done in my entire life. Hopefully they, and us all, can get through this.
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