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Medical staff exhausted and depressed

Jorge Ortiz

| USA Today


San Francisco-Nearly a year after the life-changing pandemic, many Americans are tired of wearing masks, eager to return to normal conditions and numb the grim numbers. For example, there are about 500,000 COVID-19 deaths in the United States.

The medical staff did not want to hear any such sound.

They worked endless hours in constant death and pain, gave up time, exposed themselves to disease, exhausted them, and there was no real sign of when the pandemic would subside.

“There must be obvious fatigue on the part of the medical staff, tired of COVID, tired of people who ignore public health guidance, and are sick. I hope we postpone another vacation or postpone other things,” Eric emergency room physician in Staten Island, New York Operates a COVID-19 field hospital. “I keep telling those who thank me for that,’Tell yourself and everyone you know to wear a mask when you go out in public. Don’t clap your hands, don’t give me baked goods. I don’t need anything. I need you Wear a mask instead of getting COVID.'”

This work has paid a price. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recorded nearly 409,000 coronavirus cases and 1,438 deaths nationwide, but the agency admitted that its data is incomplete. A report in the Caesars Health News and the Guardian at the end of December stated that the death toll was close to 3,000.

The vaccine arrived in mid-December, which eliminated the concerns of medical workers because they were at the forefront of the vaccination line.

Michael Daignault, an emergency room doctor at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Providence, Burbank, California, recalled his colleagues’ joy and relief after being vaccinated. He said that several photos of himself were shot online, which may help convince some people that the vaccine is safe.

But Danegal still remembers the anger he felt when he watched his fellow Los Angeles County ignoring health advice, as infections piled up like a fire and turned the area into the center of the COVID-19 disaster in the winter.

Dennett said: “Last year I felt very frustrated because I worked most of the major holidays-July 4, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day-except Christmas.” “Listen to the radio and drive to work. When they said, “Please don’t gather during the holidays, or we will contribute to this spread.” Last year, Los Angelenos seemed to be celebrating every holiday.”

Los Angeles is the most populous county in the United States. To date, it has recorded 1.18 million coronavirus cases and nearly 20,000 deaths, more than twice the total number of any other county. This raises concerns about the long-term mental health effects of medical staff in this area and other highly affected areas.

Burnout, ask for leave Among medical workers

Julita Mir is an infectious disease physician and the chief medical officer of the Community Care Cooperative in Boston. She said that she and her colleagues have been committed to providing clinics for many low-income patients. Power is drawn from the communities served.

She has seen a large number of nurses, medical assistants and doctors take leave to take care of sick family members or children who cannot go to school in person.In the midst of COVID-19 burnout She has noticed, Mir wants to know what life will be like in the future and when to get there.

She said: “Considering that there may be new variants that are so different that the vaccine I got a month ago may not be available for six months, it makes me want to cry.” “We must hope that at least it can provide Some kind of protection.”

Even if the United States becomes the first country to reach 500,000 COVID deaths (the actual number as of Sunday US Eastern Time is 497,823), there are signs that the pandemic may be easing, from a reduction in the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths to improved vaccines Launch and production.

In this hopeful situation, the emergence of variants of the coronavirus disrupts what Near future Might look like.

Will most students return to school in the next few weeks? Or is it because of the surge in infections caused by various viruses that make them study remotely? The CDC has reported more than 1,500 cases of COVID-19 caused by variants, most of which originated in the UK.

When will the vaccine be available to all Americans? The answer has always been a moving target. The timetable mentioned by President Joe Biden shifted from early April to late July.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) predicts that by the end of March, the highly transmissible variant first discovered in the UK may become the main strain in the US. Variants discovered for the first time in South Africa and Brazil are considered to be more resistant to vaccines, and variants and domestic variants have also been found in the country.

Some public health experts worry that because the country has experienced a post-holiday peak, there have been an average of nearly 250,000 new infections every day since the beginning of January. After the peak, these mutations may lead to spring growth, which will offset many of the benefits. That number is now about 67,000, which is still much higher than the average in the 40,000 range for parts of August and September.

As of March 11, 2020, it is the first anniversary of the coronavirus outbreak being declared a pandemic. It is not clear when the number of cases and deaths reported in the United States is more than twice that of any other country, and when the health crisis will persist.

“The bend is a variant, but I think the bend is not big enough for us to reach the goal,” PhD Robert Wachter, chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. “They are here and they are growing, but the good news is the main news we have seen, and the worrying news is the British news, and the effect of this vaccine is basically the same as the old virus. So this is just whether we can Enough people receive the vaccination fast enough to be ahead of the variant problem to some extent.”

Reasons for optimism In reality

After starting a slow and troublesome vaccination program, the United States accelerated its pace and vaccinated nearly 43 million people, of which 18 million received the two required vaccines. At a rate of 13.5 million doses per week, Biden’s promise of 100 million pills for the first 100 days of his tenure seems easy to achieve, and may actually be too conservative. Critics say that it is not enough to stay ahead. The goal is to take 2 million to 3 million photos every day.

Public health experts are optimistic about the possibility that the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be approved. This vaccine provides a valuable tool that can be stored normally with only a single injection. This is the main benefit of trying to reach remote communities. Another vaccine from the Maryland company Novavax may be in production, and the discovery that the Pfizer vaccine is effective in the 8th week after the first dose of vaccination may also increase the supply.

Digno said that, with the exception of those vaccines produced by Pfizer and Modena, “they were not exposed to the media because the media’s effectiveness on these variants was reduced. But what they missed was that all vaccines reduced all the variants. Serious illness and death.”

Walker also values ​​the results of the studies, which are still preliminary. These studies show that the infected people only need one shot of the vaccine to get full protection. This can release millions of rare doses.

Although it is reported that the number of Americans suffering from the coronavirus has exceeded 28 million, some researchers said that the actual number is four times that of the coronavirus, about 110 million, mainly because so many cases are asymptomatic, and many infected people Have never been tested.

It is speculated that people with COVID-19 have high immunity because of the small number of known re-infections. Between the 110 million people who may be infected with the virus and the 43 million people who are protected by at least some degree of vaccine, “you have enough insensitive people that will produce enough pressure to depress these The variants may not take off in the way we fear, Walker said.

In any case, Rochelle Varensky, director of the CDC, and other members of the Biden administration emphasized the need to stay vigilant and follow well-known practices such as wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.

Ken Thorpe, a professor of health policy at Emory University in Atlanta, said that in times of crisis, the importance of a consistent message from the federal government cannot be underestimated.

“It seems simple, but it is very different from last year. You now have a clear message,” Thorpe said. The Biden administration once said that this is true and that this problem will get worse before it gets better. Just make sure people understand that this is not to be understated, this is not a scam, the numbers are real, but we can do things through social distancing and masks to reduce transmission. “

Under-service community

At the state and local levels, experts have seen some dangerous signs of the government lifting restrictions and covering up orders. The impact model of the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation of the University of Washington predicts that there will be 589,000 deaths by June 1, which is a frustrating reminder of the continued damage to COVID-19.

The forecast takes into account the impact of the vaccine. The United States needs to expand the impact of the vaccine to distant and reluctant populations to achieve approximately 80% of the protection required for cattle immunity.

Cioe-Peña and Mir Speak spanish, Tend to target various patient groups, and the best way to connect with the hesitant community is through their trusted leaders, such as pastors, teachers, and doctors in local clinics. Vaccine education courses in the native language of immigrants will also help.

Cioe-Peña said: “You can’t just throw a vaccination center in a poor area and say,’Come in and we will do it.'” “You really have to involve the leader, explain the process, and promote registration. If not By doing so, you will not attract them either.”

Mill said that most of her patients do not have computers and lack the skills to book vaccines online, so they are easily left behind and have no opportunities for outreach. Some people did not trust the vaccine, including an 85-year-old Puerto Rican, who suggested that she find a bigger person to be the first lineup in her clinic. She explained in Spanish why he should shoot, and he agreed.

During a speech with the staff of a nursing home that employs a large number of immigrants, Mill learned of disgust that she did not understand.

“I have this question,’Does the vaccine have pork or animal products? My religion does not allow me to eat or take anything related to animals, so I will not get vaccinated.” “These are things I have never encountered before. Things. They don’t trust their government, they think this government is hiding something.”

These are some of the challenges that the United States has faced in carrying out the largest vaccination campaign in history, hoping to prevent the 600,000 COVID-19 death toll from advancing. It is too late to avoid reaching 500,000, which is more than twice as reported by Brazil and second only to the gloomy list.

Daignault called these 500,000 milestones “heartbreaking”, recalling the grandfather’s participation in the D-Day invasion during World War II, which took away some 405,000 American service personnel. life.

Digno said: “I have a bunch of his pictures on my wall. When I go to work every day, I look at those pictures and it feels like this is my D-Day. This is the D-Day of our generation. This is our struggle.'”

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