We Must NOT Overwhelm Our Healthcare System
At this point of the Corona Virus Pandemic, there is much uncertainty and confusion about what we should do in the community. This is a tricky and never-before-seen situation, and in times of uncertainty there may not be clear cut answers but we can always defer to common sense. Let’s take a look.
What is the objective? To slow down the spread of CoVID-19 and not overwhelm our healthcare system.
Why is this important? Because if truck loads of people get sick at the same time, our healthcare system will not cope. What this really means is that the people who would recover if they have access to timely medical care, but can’t because the system is overwhelmed, would die. This person could be your mum, your dad, your grandparents, your high school best friends’ parents who drove you around, fed you and cared for you, your favourite uncle and aunt, your favourite teacher, coach, mentor. And let’s not forget everyone else with non-pandemic related medical needs – your best friend who has a complicated pregnancy, your nephew with a nut allergy, your aunt who needs a hip replacement after a fall… etc. We can’t afford to break our healthcare system because tonnes of people will die. This is what happened in Wuhan and what is happening in Italy.
We don’t want that here. We must slow the spread, we must flatten the curve.
Increase Social Distance Now
Every single one of us is a living, breathing petri dish, each of us is capable of becoming infected and passing infection to others. With CoVID-19 being a highly transmissible virus – according to figures from the World Health Organisation, one person with CoVID-19 is likely to give it to 2 to 3 people, it stands to reason that the less petri dishes moving around in the community, the lesser and the slower the spread of any infection.
This is why countries like Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore are able to flatten the curve. They all adopted social (physical) distancing measures early, and everyone in their communities is actively doing their part. I grew up in Hong Kong and I can tell you there is bugger all distance between people there so if they can effectively flatten the curve, so can we.
Yes, there are already social (physical) distancing measures and bans in place but we can do better and we must do better. The numbers tell us why: There is a delay of about 2 weeks from someone being infected to showing symptoms, and 1 infected person is likely to infect another 2 to 3. This means the people reporting symptoms and testing positive with CoVID-19 today were infected any time up to 2 weeks ago, and have since been unwittingly spreading it in the community. This is why the number of confirmed cases jumps daily and jumps exponentially. This is why we must increase social distance now in order to limit the spread!
The most logical thing to do right now is for those who are in the position to do so to stay home and only go out when you have to. Remember, we want as few human petri dishes moving around in our community as possible to slow the spread! This is how my husband and I are doing our small part to increase social distance in our area: We both work from home so that one is easy for us; family gatherings on both sides have been postponed indefinitely; Rudi has cancelled tennis with his friends (he is devo’d), and instead of walking down to the shops every 2, 3 days to pick up a handful of stuff when we run out, we bought a week’s worth of grocery yesterday so we can minimise our movements in the next 7+ days.
I know we don’t all have the privilege to stay at home, but if those who can, do, it will have a combined positive impact.
Support the Skeleton Staff of our Society
In order for our society to keep running smoothly and calmly, some people have to keep moving. It’s like the skeleton staff that works through the Christmas break to hold the fort down whilst others take time off, only this spans many industries and it’s on a much bigger scale. What does the skeleton staff that keeps a whole city/ state/ country going look like? Here’s a non-exhaustive list in no particular order:
- Healthcare workers – doctors, nurses, clinical support staff… etc treating the sick
- Scientists and medical laboratories – processing your tests, working on vaccines
- Supermarkets, green grocers, pharmacies – keeping us supplied
- Police, Ambos, Firies, Rescue Services – keeping us safe
- Journalists, TV & Radio people, Auslan interpreters – bringing us news
- Transport sector, petrol stations – moving people, food, and supplies around
- Pollies and all the experts – working on this together
- Rubbish removal, cleaning services – keeping our city clean
- Banks, post offices – Most seniors bank and pay bills in person!
Plus the many more who support these people and keep the skeleton staff going. This cohort, in my humble opinion, should be afforded the privilege of moving around during this critical time whilst the rest of the country focuses on one singular effort – to slow the spread of CoVID-19 and not overwhelm our healthcare system.
Every Little Bit Helps
If you’re not part of the skeleton staff, stay home.
If you can work from home, stay home.
If you can manage keeping your kids home without putting grandparents at risk, or compromising the skeleton staff, stay home.
If you can take sick days, holidays, RDO’s, TOIL, accrued leave… etc, stay home.
If you can swing it, stay home.
We are in this together. If we all do our very, very best now, hopefully we can avoid more drastic measures and avert an utter disaster. Yes, it is disruptive. Yes, it is inconvenient. Yes, there is huge economical impact for everyone. Fact is, we will ride this out and when we do sports, entertainment, fun things will still be there, the economy will bounce back, dead people won’t.
Do your very best and do it now.
’Til next time, stay safe, don’t panic buy, wash your hands, and as always, Be Free In Your Movement™.
This information is not medical advice. Got health concerns? Consult a real-life health professional.
Views are my own.