They’re going to work so you can stay home. Healthcare workers are working around the clock to fight coronavirus. From PPE shortages, to sacrificing time with their families, if you see a healthcare worker, thank them for all they are doing. #COVID19 #CoronavirusPandemic #committoclean #lockdowngerms #fightthegerm
Stop what you are doing, and text a healthcare worker to thank them.
Things are crazy right now for them, there is no doubt about it. Even if the person you know doesn't work in ICU, in a Corona unit, or anything related to the virus, the entire health care industry is on a strain. None of the arms exist in silo, and the coronavirus pandemic has gobbled up all the healthcare resources, from valuable employee time, to incredibly crucial masks and protective gear.
Here's what an average COVID healthcare responder is dealing with. You can read more quotes from the workers here.
"It’s extremely heartbreaking." "I haven't slept because my mind won't shut off" "I worked 94 hours this week"
It's bad. And if you think it's still not a big deal, we are sorry but from everyone at Shultz, you are an idiot. Here's the basics of what healthcare is going through.
- Working 13+ hours a day to treat patients that seem to be coming in non-stop, sacrificing their health and time with family.
- Crazy amount of stress from risk, as well as the weight of death and uncontrollable sickness, helplessness. Many are overwhelmed or scared.
- PPE is limited and some are often wearing the same masks for multiple shifts. Taking them on and off can cause contamination, and workers will often leave them on for the full 12 hour shift.
- Many can't even eat for a full shift due to fear of contamination from PPE.
Aside from the obvious (putting themselves at risk and direct contact with an extremely contagious virus with over 1,600 healthcare worker cases), the emotional toll of the environment takes a huge toll on workers.
"I cry for my co workers, because we know it will get worse and I already feel like that is impossible and we are already at our breaking point," she said. "I cry for the parents, children, siblings, spouses who cannot be with their loved ones who may be dying but can't have visitors because there is no visiting allowed" - Covid Unit Nurse
In more populated areas, hospital COVID units are at capacity, and triage tents are beginning to face similar issues. Beds are filling up quickly, with case numbers increasing across the US, with 425 thousand cases (up from 212k April 1) and average of 8-9% growth per day for the last few days. At the current rate, # of cases in the US will increase to 1,000,000 people by April 16.
Photo Credit: NBC, ICU in Beijing
It takes a lot to be around so much sickness, running around like crazy for hours.
"Patients were streaming in nonstop, she said, coughing and sweating, with fevers and 'fear in their eyes.' The nurse wrote that she cried in the bathroom during her break, peeling off the PPE that left indentations in her face.
Or, the stakes can be even worse. In some places for example, they are so at capacity, that at one point health care workers have to begin choosing who to accept who can be cared for and who cannot based on chance of survival, turning away people with higher risk of mortality, or reassigning ventilators.
The term is called Medical Rationing. Intubators and Ventilators in the US are in short supply in hospitals, and if we don't flatten the curve, we may go through the same before we can react.
How to help doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers right now.
- Stay home. The best way to help medical staff is to not get sick.
- If you feel sick, call your primary care physician before going to the hospital or use a self-triage tool like C19check.com
- Offer your healthcare friend's groceries. Especially if a your friend is a high-risk worker, this will be a huge relief for them, as well as distance the healthcare worker from public places.
- Lend them an ear Healthcare workers are going through it. Give them a call and say hello. Do a facetime and eat a meal together, do laundry together, or any other regular habit. Just be there for them.
- Make a monetary donation to a non-profit hospital. Many are in budget mode, so sending any donation can help provide meals for staff or even protective gear for the hospital.
- Donate masks, hand sanitizer or cleaning supplies. We’ve all heard about the PPE shortages, and we need to keep our healthcare workers safe. Check with your local government or hospital websites for best practice and see if they have a specific “wishlist” of items.
- Sew Masks to Wear and Donate to People in Need If you have a sewing machine and some free time on your hands, look to the CDC’s website for how to do it and their recommendations! These masks are not medical grade, but rather simple cloth coverings so that if you have the virus asymptomatically, you do not unknowingly transmit it in public.
"I am begging you to stay home," she wrote. "Please. I cannot stay home and if you do not listen this will not end. It looks like a movie but it's real life and I cannot believe it's real."