Neither “fake stats” nor PCR false positives could overwhelm hospitals.
The day before yesterday Cardiff NHS had to ask on Twitter for medical students to come and work at the hospitals. Yesterday Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich declared a “major incident” due to covid, oxygen supply insufficient, and King’s College Hospital, South London put out a message to all staff, “major incident escalation: all staff asked to return to work if possible”. Official figures now show more people in hospital than in the March-April peak. The number in hospital in London rose from around 4000 on the 24th to 5000 on the 28th. One month ago NHS London expected to need 3000 beds for covid in worst case projection by end of year. They were at 5000 yesterday with three days to go.
Dr Samantha Batt-Rawden @sbattrawden – yesterday
– “When staff have spoken up on Twitter they have been told this is all a hoax. It’s not. Try holding an iPad for a patient to say goodbye to their family. Or having to ventilate a colleague. This is real & happening right now. Staff are broken and need support now more than ever.
– Hello, I run a network for 46k doctors. Things are really bad on the frontline and NHS doctors need help getting the word out. If you support the NHS would you tweet this to your followers so I can help get out what is happening on the ground?”
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I personally have a friend in hospital since last night. She had been feeling increasingly poorly over the last few days. The NHS 111 telephone service had been overwhelmed, and didn’t manage to provide any advice until yesterday afternoon. The advice, when it came, was to go to hospital. There, low oxygen saturation in her bloodstream was measured; she was taken in and put on oxygen support, so I hope very much that supply meets demand. This afternoon she and her husband were awaiting the results of last night’s PCR swab test.
As you might guess, I’m pretty pissed off with conspiracy theorists right now. Go look at some hospitals’, doctors’ and nurses’ accounts on Twitter and Facebook; “you have the Internet now; do your own research” as you are apt to tell others. You think these are all fake accounts? Fake stats and fake tests do not make people go to hospital, but thousands more people are going to hospital. Fake stats and fake tests cannot put huge peaks in the “deaths from all causes” graphs, but those graphs have huge peaks in them. It is time to say “sorry, we were wrong, we’ll think again.”