From a Reader:

State of Emergency in COVID-19 Crisis Grows More Dire!



Editors’ Note: The following is from a letter from a reader, who is a healthcare provider.

U.S. hospitals are currently facing an unprecedented crisis related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the uncontrolled pandemic that is affecting the entire country, rural areas as well as urban areas, hospitals are facing an acute and sharp shortage in hospital beds and staff to take care of the patients. Having a hospital bed is meaningless if there are no staff to take care of patients, clean the rooms, run the labs, etc. There was already a significant nursing shortage in the U.S. before the pandemic, and due to the pandemic, many skilled nurses and other healthcare workers are leaving now in droves and will not return.

The fascist, anti-science Trump/Pence regime has openly said that it won’t even attempt to control the pandemic, with Mark Meadows saying in October, “We’re not going to control the pandemic. We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigations and ‘...It is a contagious virus, just like the flu....’”

The fascist governor of North Dakota, Doug Burgum, has recently allowed healthcare workers who have tested positive for COVID to continue to work due to the fact that there is not enough nursing staff. This decision has nursing and other medical workers up in arms as this would only increase the possibility of more people becoming infected. The fascist governor of South Dakota, Kristi Noem, and other fascists have refused to issue mask mandates in their states to try to slow down the spread of the pandemic. Even worse, doctors, healthcare ethicists (people who give advice over the morality of a healthcare decision), and many other healthcare workers are looking at the possibility of having to “decide” who will get treated and who won’t as the numbers of patients with COVID-19 rise.

This type of decision-making has severe genocidal implications—Black people, Latinx people, and Indigenous people have the worst access to healthcare and tend to be sicker than the white-majority population as a whole. For any doctor, nurse, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, respiratory therapist, and others, to lose a patient under their care can be devastating. For healthcare workers who dedicate their lives to taking care of people, being “forced” to decide who will live and who will die is “soul-destroying.” This will add to the already severe PTSD that many healthcare providers have from working months on end trying to take care of patients who are dying in droves. There have been doctors, RNs, and other healthcare providers who have committed suicide because the strain of working under such horrible conditions finally got to them. Dr. Lorna Breen, who was the Medical Director of Emergency Services at a major New York City hospital, killed herself in April 2020 while on a short vacation, home with her family. Other healthcare providers in other parts of the world have also killed themselves due to the stress. (Dr. Poulami Saha, a pediatric resident who had depression and worked in India, killed herself at a hospital in May; Daniela Trezzi, an ICU nurse who worked in the hard-hit region of Lombardy, Italy, killed herself in March.)

Urgent care doctors, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners at the MultiCare Indigo Urgent Care Clinics in over 20 clinics in Washington State have been on strike since November 22 over the lack of PPE and long hours that they work in these clinics. The strike was precipitated by “a coronavirus outbreak at MultiCare Auburn Medical Center that resulted in the death of two patients. More than a dozen patients and 12 staff members tested positive for COVID-19 between Nov. 5 and 20 in the outbreak in the memory care unit of Behavioral Health. ‘The recent outbreak of COVID-19 within MultiCare’s hospital system should have been a wake-up call, but it was not,’ Dr. Stuart Bussey, union president, said in a statement....”

The recent Thanks-taking holiday weekend with people traveling all over the country by air, is projected to make the pandemic much worse, going into December. “Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s leading infectious disease expert, warned that the travel-heavy Thanksgiving holiday could make the current surge in Covid-19 cases even worse as the nation heads into December...” This is due to the fact that many people will be indoors, not social distancing, mask wearing, etc.

The pandemic has taken its toll on people in healthcare in the U.S., many of them Black, indigenous and Latinx. According to a report from the organization National Nurses United in September, more than 1,700 health care workers had died up to that point from COVID-19 and related complications.

Even though Trump was dealt a resounding defeat at the polls by Joe Biden, it does not mean that things will be OK under this system. Joe Biden is a representative of this capitalist-imperialist system who wants to go back to “normal,” but there can be no “normal” as long as this system exists. Biden is not a fascist like Trump, which will give people a little breathing space, and there is the possibility of opposition to this system continuing to build and some small chance at trying to control the pandemic. Biden, however, has signaled that he is ready to conciliate with the fascist regime and may actually be blocked by the fascist Republicans from trying to implement any changes. The great danger lies, though, in Trump’s fascist base desiring to get revenge and wreak havoc on people that they see as enemies and less than human.

This is why getting this fascist regime out of power now—meaning that we have to be in the streets and stay there until it’s gone—has such tremendous importance. Overall, we need to build and strengthen the movement for revolution and bring into being a socialist society so that humanity and the planet can benefit.


Covid Overload: U.S. Hospitals Are Running Out of Beds for PatientsNew York Times, November 27, 2020

North Dakota allows Covid-positive healthcare workers to stay on job as nurses warn it’s ‘irresponsible’NBC News, November 11, 2020

Rising Covid cases means Americans may face health care rationing. Here’s how they view thatNBC News, November 9, 2020

Physician Suicide Is a Daily Occurrence, Dr. Jeff Livingston, September 30, 2020

How the Revolution Would Deal with Health Care, Including, March 16, 2020

Fauci warns Thanksgiving travel could make current Covid surge worseNBC News, November 29, 2020

These GOP governors long resisted mask mandates and coronavirus rules. Now their states are in crisisCNN, November 17, 2020

Doctors Call on DeSantis to Allow Tougher Local Restrictions as COVID-19 Cases RiseSpectrum News, November 28, 2020

November 19, Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in the Mission Hills section of Los Angeles. (Photo: AP)



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