Covid-19 is not going away anytime soon. Some nations have already announced that a second wave has begun. Globally, over 32.2 million infections have been recorded, and nearly 1 million people have died–so far. As doom and gloomy as this news is, we need to be prepared for what is coming.
Fauci has stated that the United States has not yet ended the first wave, and that wave is just going to get bigger. Action needs to be taken now in the hope of saving lives.
How bad will it get?
It could get really bad. Different scientists have published slightly different projections, but they are all bad news. It is important to remember that the professionals who predict how many people will become sick in the coming months are not being influenced by politics. They are dedicated researchers, mostly university professors, who have spent 10 to 15 years in post-secondary education to achieve their credentials. The accuracy of their predictions is everything to them, and their reputations are on the line. They are doing their best work. For many of these researchers, this Covid-19 pandemic is the most important event of their career. Take what they say seriously.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, for example, is projecting that about 371, 509 Americans will have died of Covid-19 by January 1st. 2021 –more or less. That is terrible, and means that the US death toll will have almost doubled from what it is now.
With universal mask wearing, however, IHME predicts that number could be reduced to 275, 000 deaths–more or less. If everyone in the United States were to faithfully wear a mask, 96,000 lives–more or less–could be saved. That is a lot of people.
Wearing a Mask helps everyone:
Although the US is really struggling with to convince some citizens to follow medical advice, it is still possible to convince people to wear masks. For example, a recent survey reveals that over 80% of Canadians support wearing masks indoors, and 87% of Canadians believe that wearing a mask is a civic duty. It wasn’t always like this, however. There have been some vigorous anti-mask protests in Canada, but those attitudes are being left behind as Canada and it’s provinces work together to encourage a common message about the risks of Covid-19.
Currently, there are 12 states where more than 50% of the population has started to wear masks. That is good news, but still not adequate. To save those 95,000 lives, 95% of Americans will need to start wearing masks. There should be daily public service announcements calling for the use of masks. Every governor of every state should be pleading with their citizens to put on a mask, wash their hands, and avoid social gatherings.
Hospitals need more PPE:
In addition to encouraging uniform messaging on the seriousness of Covid-19 and how to reduce the spread, there needs to be adequate health infrastructure. Eight months into the global pandemic, and health care workers are still facing acute shortages of supplies.
In some countries, shortages of ventilators have created difficult rationing decisions, and shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) have forced medical staff to work without adequate protection. Medical staff in Spain made up more than 10% of total cases, the report said.CNN International
Despite all the efforts that have gone into increasing the supply of PPE, American health workers must deal with substandard medical masks, and a limited supply of the preferred N95 masks.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration included N95s (identified by its product code “MSH”) in its most recent medical device shortage list. Officials added the surgical respirator on August 14, citing a “demand increase for the device” that would last for the “duration of COVID-19,” and marked its availability as “limited supply.”Newsweek
Ultimately, no matter how much effort the US government has expended in increasing the supply of PPE, they must do more. If nurses are unable to protect their own health, there will be very little ability to care for high numbers of Covid-19 patients.