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Some parts of the population still haven’t got it. Panic buying is still happening and some people still are not staying at home, even though there is less and less to go out to.
This is a very good article by a junior NHS doctor describing what it is like at the coalface:
I’m a junior doctor, in my second year of work. As luck would have it, Covid-19 has caught me in my A&E rotation at a busy central London hospital.
As the pandemic began to develop, we would receive daily guidance from Public Health England (PHE) on whom we should swab and what kind of isolation advice to give. Initially, we were swabbing people with significant travel history and respiratory symptoms. The numbers climbed: 20, 30, 150, 450, 1,000 … By 10 March, the reality of community transmissions was apparent. The question of travel history became irrelevant. Now, we only swab people sick enough to come into hospital, which means we’ll have a falsely low number of confirmed cases. Meanwhile, the government continues to downgrade the quality of personal protective equipment (PPE) worn by NHS staff. Initially, we were wearing FFP3s, high-grade masks filtering out 99% of particles smaller than 0.6 microns, to see any patient with suspected Covid-19. Pretty quickly, demand exceeded supply. Suddenly, entire wards were set up purely for Covid-19 patients. On 11 March, we were informed there wasn’t sufficient evidence supporting the wearing of FFP3s. Instead, PHE advised “basic respiratory precautions”, like with flu. Now we are wearing the most basic surgical masks and a tissue-thin plastic apron to see entire wards of confirmed cases.
It is worth reading the rest of the article. So the government had about a month’s warning to to make the necessary provisions and plan, including co-ordination with supermarkets and suppliers of vital NHS protective equipment, and had 4 years to plan for the 10,000 shortage of NHS doctors and 40,000 nurses and wasted it all on talking but not planning for Brexit and what it will mean
The strain that Covid-19 is placing on the healthcare system is immense. All elective surgeries have been cancelled. Doctors are being moved to high-pressure areas such as A&E and general medicine. Anyone with experience of ICU and intubation is being redeployed back to ICU, where it is anticipated the numbers requiring ventilation will rise sharply over the next week. The government is frantically trying to source more ventilators. The problem is that even with more ventilators, we need staff trained to operate them and look after ventilated patients. A tall order, given the NHS in England is short of 10,000 doctors and 40,000 nurses.
The global toll of Covid-19 is accelerating, and whereas China has now got on top of the epidemic, for now, Europe and US have accelerated and it seems that the number of cases in Italy, with a fraction of the population of china may soon overtake the number of cases. This stands at 53,000 for Italy with 4,825 deaths and 26,747 for US. Although we are lagging behind in UK with just over 5,000 cases, experience shows that in two weeks we will probably have more than a quadruple of the number, even though the NHS is already creaking under the strain.
But sadly there is still a lot of misinformation. The Moon of Alabama have been a good website to follow for updates on the virus, its spread and the reactions to the spread especially in Europe and US. Some readers tried to hijack the narrative with conspiracy theories, such as that the virus is man made, which has been debunked, but also in trying to blame China for either the spread of the virus or for slow reaction, which was not the case.
But some supposedly anti-establishment media, who shall remain nameless, are still busy spreading the theory that this is all a plot to control the population, and that this disease is no worse than the flu. Beware of these websites.