On this special bonus COVID-19 update, Nurse Keith discusses the state of the coronavirus pandemic as of the last week of November 2020. Issues covered include the latest in vaccine development; Regeneron; record-breaking rates of infection and death; the folly of Thanksgiving travel; the politics of the pandemic, and much more. (Note: this episode was recorded on November 25, 2020.)
- As of 11/25/20, the US has recorded 2 million new cases in 2 weeks
- In the last week prior to Thanksgiving, the US added an average of 173k new cases per day.
- Epidemiologists are predicting that the # of deaths in the coming weeks may exceed the spring peak despite improvement in treatment
- The US is now at 11 million total cumulative cases and over 250k deaths, a level of death not seen since the spring
- Here in the US, we’re seeing a 9/11-sized death toll every 3 days
Resources mentioned on-air, or utilized for the development of this episode:
- The COVID Tracking Project
- U.S. Posts Sharpest Weekly Rise in COVID-19 Deaths Since August (US News & World Report)
- MSU to lead study examining COVID-19’s effect on U.S. nursing workforce (Montana State University)“It is imperative that our workforce research include an analysis of the pandemic’s impact on nursing assistants, licensed vocational nurses and professional registered nurses, especially those working in nursing homes,” said Terry Fulmer, president of The John A. Hartford Foundation who recently served on the independent Coronavirus Commission on Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes. “The illness and deaths in these settings have taken a terrible toll on residents and families, and on these essential staff who are the backbone of care for our most frail older adults and people with disabilities.”
- Include a Nurse on President-elect Biden’s COVID-19 Advisory Board (Change.org petition)
- Op-Ed: Nurses are crucial to the pandemic response. Why aren’t they on Biden’s COVID-19 board? (LA Times)
“Nurses have always stood at the nexus of medical decisions, nursing care, patients’ needs and family concerns. The pandemic has only accelerated the pace and raised the stakes for nurses to balance these roles. When an intensive care unit doctor intubates a COVID patient and puts the person on a ventilator, the nurse assists in placing the tube and calls the patient’s family to share updates. Nurses make the minute-to-minute treatment adjustments that help keep COVID patients alive. When a hospital experiences a virus surge, nurses juggle patients to ensure those with COVID receive the care they need while keeping other patients safe from the virus.“Since the coronavirus is disproportionately striking minority communities, these patients and their families may also be facing an avalanche of other pandemic-related devastation. This might include job loss, the threat of eviction, fears of getting tested due to immigration status, language barriers and distrust of the healthcare system because of the systemic racism they have faced. In areas where the nearest hospital may be several hours away, nurses in community clinics may serve as the first point of contact for a sick patient.“When hospitals run out of personal protective equipment, nurses pay dearly. More than 1,500 nurses worldwide have died from COVID-19. Most nurses — many of whom are women, and many of color — don’t have the luxury of walking off the job to protect themselves. While labor unions have attempted to hold large healthcare systems accountable for worker safety, significant problems such as dangerous understaffing persist and will likely grow as hospital beds fill and the pandemic wears on.”
- The Physicians Foundation 2020 Physician Survey: Part 1Of 3,500 physicians, 8% reported closing their offices in recent months (approximately 16,000 practices)
4 % planned to close within the next year
43% have reduced their staff due to the pandemic
50% do not believe the pandemic will be under control until after June 1, 2021
- Doctors Are Calling It Quits Under Stress of the Pandemic (NY Times)
- Now the U.S. Has Lots of Ventilators, but Too Few Specialists to Operate Them (NY Times)
- F.D.A. Grants Emergency Authorization of Antibody Treatment Given to Trump (NY Times)
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