a serious COVID-19 talk – about the ugly things. it’s time.

It seems that everyone has COVID-19 talk fatigue.

It also seems that many – at least in my state – have COVID-19 precaution fatigue.

I say this because my state, Alabama, was second in the country last week in increased number of infections – and the news this week has been worsening by the day.

New record numbers of cases reported have been set for the past four days. Hospitalizations and deaths are on the rise as well unfortunately.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/nicholasreimann/2020/06/14/alabamas-coronavirus-cases-are-skyrocketing-breaking-records-for-4-straight-days/#718e77eb4824

I also just read a news report less than an hour ago that my county, the largest in the state, has gone from a 5% positive COVID testing rate to a 13% positive COVID testing rate.

W E  A R E  I N  T R O U B L E  

In fact, CNN is reporting that COVID numbers have increased in 18 states – and, as the headline of the article below suggests, we will likely reach 200,000 deaths in the United States by October 1st.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/16/health/us-coronavirus-tuesday/index.html

I know I have written about COVID in the past – but, as the situation is worsening, I feel there is more that I need to say now, both as a nurse and as a chronically ill person.

First, I want to call this to your attention.

a Twitter headline from 6.15.20

As COVID is spreading like wildfire in some areas, including mine, I want to remind everyone that it is the people like me who do not fare well if we get it – and that it has turned out to be even worse than was first thought. This is terrifying.

And the strong recommendation that everyone wear a mask to protect each other?

Is it really that much to ask when it could potentially save my life? Or your grandmother’s? Or your asthmatic friend’s?

Really?

we’ve purchased soft reusable cotton masks as I expect we’ll be using them for some time now.

I am aware that this issue has become politicized – but it should not be at all.

It is a public health issue.

I know that the President has decided to hold a rally (actually, possibly two) – against the advice of public health officials – while having those in attendance sign waivers that he cannot be held liable if they contract COVID (because he KNOWS this is unsafe and the wrong thing to do).

(There will also be no social distancing and masks will be optional at this large indoor event that the local government in Oklahoma tried unsuccessfully to persuade him to postpone.)

I also heard him stating – AGAIN – yesterday that if we just didn’t test, we wouldn’t have any more new cases. . . because THAT’S how the disease process works.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/16/politics/donald-trump-coronavirus-politics-oklahoma-election-2020/index.html

Don’t listen to this reckless foolishness.

He clearly isn’t concerned about loss of life or permanent impairment – or he is living in some alternate reality. I honestly can’t tell anymore

As he is being a tomfool, many governors in his party, including the one in my state, are following suit. In fact, her insistence on being aggressive in reopening the state correlates directly to the explosion of new COVID cases.

It’s almost like we are seeing exactly what the health officials warned us about. . .

So, please don’t trust these people with your lives.

You can’t.

I even heard a minister that I usually respect say “they shut down the country for the flu” and my blood boiled.

Let’s talk again about why COVID is NOT the damn flu – and why some who get it will become terribly ill with disastrous consequences.

Many who suffer the worst effects of the virus will have underlying conditions – but not everyone. It’s proving to also be a monster for some people who were perfectly healthy.

The statistic that has been repeated since the beginning has held true – 1 of 5 people – 20% – who contract COVID will become severely ill with it. 5% will die (the death rate for seasonal flu is 0.1% each year).

If a person requires being placed on a ventilator, the statistics are better than they were in the beginning – but they are still grim.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/elderly-covid-19-patients-on-ventilators-usually-do-not-survive-new-york-hospitals-report/2020/05/19/ba20e822-99f8-11ea-89fd-28fb313d1886_story.html

A few alarming facts I would call to your attention from the above article:

  • If a ventilator is needed, 50 – 97 % of patients will pass away. The reasons cited for this huge disparity are region, demographics, and varied treatment approaches as the information about this virus is ever-changing.
  • 70% of those over 70 placed on a ventilator will pass away.
  • 80% of those over 80 placed on a ventilator will pass away.
  • Obesity is a major risk factor for mortality and we don’t know why. Still, a BMI greater than 35 makes a patient three times more likely to die.
  • There is a condition that has been identified affecting some children after they have had COVID called Multi-Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C). It appears to be an autoimmune response, it is serious (and, at times, critical), and, of course, we don’t yet know the long-term consequences of it.

Since COVID was declared a pandemic, I have been closely following the reports from the doctors and nurses who are working with it most closely – on the front lines, if you will – and the things they have shared are just horrifying.

Many have written essays and Facebook posts and Tweets and Instagram captions and articles trying to communicate the gravity of this situation.

For now, I want to leave you with the words of an experienced ICU RN who has been battling COVID on her unit for these past few months:

COVID-19 is the worst disease process I’ve ever worked with in my 8 years as an ICU nurse.

When they say “recovered,” they don’t tell you that means you may need a lung transplant. Or that you may come back after d/c with a massive heart attack or stroke because COVID makes your blood thick as hell. Or that you may have to be on oxygen for the rest of your life. COVID is designed to kill. It is a highly intelligent virus and it attacks everything.

We will run out of resources if we don’t continue to flatten the curve.

Cherie Antoinette

It is that deadly serious, y’all.

In fact, last week I posted an article to my Facebook about the first lung transplant being performed for a COVID patient as GOOD news – because at least they were able to do it.

I wish I had more than “Bad News Bears,” as my sweet Sara Bug says, but I just don’t when it comes to this. I just really felt that I needed to say something again.

In all seriousness, this is not a political issue.

PLEASE stay home whenever you can. Order in. Order your groceries.

Wear your masks when you have to go out. We all need to protect each other.

Practice social distancing.

Use hand gel often.

Wash your hands frequently.

This really is life or death, y’all. Just because you might fare okay if you catch COVID doesn’t mean your loved ones will.

Be well, everybody. Take care of yourselves and each other.

Grace and Blessings.

 

Then the King will say to those on His right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you took me in; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me; I was in prison and you visited me.”

Then the righteous will answer Him, “Lord,when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and take you in, or without clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick, or in prison, and visit you?”

And the King will answer them, ” Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

— Matthew 25:34-40 (CSB)

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