Royal Oak, Michigan (Associated Press)-When there was a shooting in Michigan, Eric Gala gave up the opportunity to get a coronavirus vaccine, admitting that he was not paying enough attention to the virus.
Then he contracted what he thought was the flu. He thought he would sweat and then returned to normal.
Soon after, the 63-year-old Detroit area retiree was hooked by a machine in a hospital to help him breathe. His COVID-19.
“I had trouble breathing and they turned the oxygen up-I was scared at the time and thought I would not do it.”
The gala shows that Michigan has become a hot spot for COVID-19 infection and hospitalization in the country, and more than half of the adults in the United States have been vaccinated, while the virus in other states has been greatly reduced.
Doctors, medical experts, and public health officials have pointed out many factors that explain how the situation in Michigan has become so bad. More contagious variants, especially those first discovered in the UK, take root here more commonly than other states. Residents got rid of the strict and lengthy restrictions on food and crowd size imposed by the state government, gave up wearing masks and stayed away from society, especially in the northern part of the state and rural areas, which largely avoided serious outbreaks. The state also has average vaccine compliance.
Although the numbers have improved in recent days, Michigan has recorded the nation’s highest 91,000 new COVID-19 cases in the past two weeks. In contrast, this is more than California and Texas combined during the same period.
Beaumont Health, Michigan’s main hospital system, recently warned that the capabilities of its hospitals and staff have reached critical levels. The number of COVID-19 patients in the health system of the eight hospitals jumped from 128 on February 28 to more than 800 patients.
“A year ago, this sentence was a tsunami,” said Dr. Paul Bozik, assistant director of intensive care and lung medicine at Royal Oak Hospital in Beaumont. “It’s chaotic. People are at a loss: death and dying. This year, more of the slow, rising floods. The number of patients has not increased much, but we are increasing every day. We are full.”
Detroit was an early epicenter when the virus was first introduced to the United States a year ago, prompting Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (Gretchen Whitmer) to take radical measures to stop the spread of the virus. This made her a target of then-President Donald Trump and right-wing protesters. When Michigan played a key role in the presidential election, she denounced her as the epitome of government overspending.
Toni Schmittling, a nurse anesthesiologist who works at Detroit Sinai Grace Hospital, said that when Detroit was hit hard and her hospital had to double the number of ventilator patients in one room, the rest of Michigan Thinking about why restrictions are needed.
Schmidtlin said: “We would say,’Are you kidding, people are dying around here.’
Now, cases are more scattered, and rural areas are being hit more and more severely. In Sinai-Grace, Beaumont Royal Oak and other hospitals in the United States, patients are between 30 and 50 years old, younger than before, but they don’t seem to be so seriously ill.
Dr. Mark Hammond, medical director of the emergency department at Mackenzie Hospital in Sandusky, Michigan, and several counties in the northern region of the state stated that the region did not suffer from a rampant COVID-19 attack last year, which may have caused a Misunderstanding safety, especially among farmers and blue-collar workers in the area, who have suffered from the economic impact of the pandemic and are already feeling COVID fatigue.
He said: “Companies are not really asking people to wear masks,” and many people in the area avoided it.
Now, with the spread of the variant and many people still not vaccinated, his area “has been hit hard,” Hamed said. “Our ER is absolutely incredible.”
The current surge has put medical staff in a difficult position. Unlike colleagues in other states whose virus is relatively controlled, Michigan doctors and nurses are suffering from another crisis-after being besieged in Detroit’s hospital for a full year.
Lizzie Smagala, a registered nurse in the medical intensive care unit of the Royal Oak Hospital in Beaumont, said: “We started to have hope when the plateau reached its climax, and then there was new hope here.” Masked hospital work The staff takes care of the patient quietly and methodically. “I think people who are outside the situation do not understand the depth we are going through, how long we have been here in the hospital, and the COVID has never really disappeared.”
Due to fear of contracting the virus, COVID has caused far more losses in Michigan than emergency rooms and ICU departments, which are full of diseases and thousands of people are self-isolating. Tens of thousands of jobs have been lost, and 80% of blacks, the extremely impoverished Detroit, has been hit particularly hard by the virus and economic crisis.
After the virus closed, the Detroit school was closed for several months this month, then reopened, and closed again this month. For the rest of the school year in Detroit, face-to-face courses may have to be cancelled.
“Frankly, there are a lot of people in our community related to the pandemic,” Bozyk said. “It is difficult to be socially isolated within 13 months. No one wants it. This is not good for mental health. But as a doctor who treats COVID, I want to make COVID disappear. I will tell everyone to stay at home until we get The herd is immune.”
At the same time, vaccine hesitation has always been a problem in Michigan. About 40% of people in the state have received at least one dose of the vaccine-about the same as the national average. Approximately 28% of Detroit’s urban residents 16 years of age and older received at least one dose of the vaccine. The city is planning to go door-to-door to urge people to obtain vaccine doses-many of which are produced at Pfizer’s plant near Kalamazoo in Michigan.
Schmidtlin said that when the vaccination was started, it felt like “light at the end of the tunnel.” “Then, what happened in Michigan-we were like the highest state in the United States. What are we doing? What happened in Michigan? I hope I get the answer.”
Officials hope that the latest wave of COVID has begun to abate. Six Henry Ford Medical System hospitals in the Detroit area had more than 400 COVID-19 patients on Thursday morning, a 10% drop from earlier this week.
Dr. Adnan Munkarah, chief clinical officer of Henry Ford, said that the medical system’s vaccine demand is still weak: about 10,000 doses of vaccine are needed this week, and close to 20,000 doses in recent weeks.
The gala is expected to be sent home from the Royal Oak in Beaumont this week. His brother-in-law contracted the virus at about the same time and died in another hospital a few days ago.
Gala still wants to know when and how he contracted the virus.
He said: “I wear a mask, sometimes I don’t.” “I never show up in public without a mask. My biggest regret is that I haven’t been vaccinated. For me, this is a life-changing person. .”
Associated Press reporter Ed White of Detroit contributed to this story. Eggert reports from Lansing, Michigan. Tanner reports from Three Oaks, Michigan.
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