An update – and a fairly discouraging one at that 🙁 – on COVID-19 in Virginia, courtesy of Kellen Squire, who is a Charlottesville-area ER nurse.
It’s getting bad out there, folks.
Virginia has been tracking 3-4 weeks behind Florida and Texas; that seems to be about where we are now. Recently, there wasn’t a single ICU bed available in the Commonwealth of Virginia- Ballad, Carilion, Lewis Gale, Valley, Centra, Sentara, UVA, Inova, VCU, Bon Secours, HCA, Mary Washington, Chippenham- zero. And that’s moved from Medical ICUs to specialty units, and even Pediatric ICUs as well.
ERs are full. Medical/Surgical units are taking more and sicker patients than they ever have before. EMS and Fire crews are being dispatched without respite, and sometimes have to wait hours to drop off patients at hospitals. Staffing everywhere is almost unmanageable- since March 2020, we’ve asked these people to save the country on their own since their government couldn’t be bothered to step up & help them, which has caused us to burn through more experienced providers- doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, EMTs, etc- than I’ve ever seen in over ten years in the ER.
And we still haven’t hit the peak yet.
These people are the backbones of our community safety net. They’re who keep us all safe. And we’re not doing anywhere near enough to take care of them- which, if it continues, will only pay out horrible, horrible dividends as time goes on.
I wish I had a concrete way to tell everyone on how to chip in to help, but I don’t. We’re already in a surge of cases and full vaccine immunity takes weeks to establish in newly vaccinated folks. It takes months or years to train new providers, decades to replace some of the experience we’ve lost. Policy decisions that need to be/needed to be made aren’t even being considered since it’s “campaign season”.
We WILL make it through to the other side of this. I just don’t know how many of us will be there- emotionally, spiritually, and physically- at the end.