This State is the "Titanic" of Coronavirus, Doctor Says
As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations rise in certain states, doctors on the frontlines are sounding the alarm by whatever means necessary. Today, one issued an all-too-familiar warning, one no one wants to hear, for citizens of his state of Texas: Iceberg, straight ahead!
Referencing the RMS Titanic, circa April 1912, John Abikhaled, president of the Travis County Medical Society, of Austin, said in a YouTube clip: "The crew's effort to slow and turn the ship were futile."
"We all know what happened next."
A System Overload
The iceberg Abikhaled sees is an overload of the system, due to the rush of sick people caused by the coronavirus spiking.
"The physicians of the greater Austin area have an urgent message for our community. If COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to double at the current rate, in less than three weeks, our health-care system's capacity to care for patients will be exceeded," Abikhaled said, adding that doctors and nurses will be "overwhelmed." That would mean "terrible decisions will have to be made about who receives care, and who does not," he said. "None of us in the medical community want to be forced to make those decisions."
"Texas is on a collision course with a viral iceberg," he added, "but we don't have to sink."
A Blaring Alarm Bell
"The video amounts to a blaring alarm bell sounded by the head of a group that represents more than 4,000 physicians in and around the Texas capital, where cases have surged to record highs in recent days," reports the Washington Post. The death rate has been rising since last month. The state as 221,000 cases and 2,845 deaths. "We were seeing 50 to 80 new cases per day in just one month. This number has spiked. Now we are seeing an average of 559 new cases. Every day. COVID-19 hospitalizations have quadrupled from less than a hundred to 434 patients as of July 4th…In Texas, if the pandemic continues unabated, our death count will start to look like New York's body count of over 31,000," Abikhaled said. (He also noted that "1,517 people died on the Titanic. And we still talk about that more than a century later.")
He begs you to practice social distancing, wear face masks in public and avoid crowds.
"In March, April, and May we proved that we could control the spread of the virus for several weeks. We flattened the curve and every COVID-19 patient received the best care possible. We'll have to do this for a while," he said. "No one knows for how long, but we can do it. We must do it." So please do it for him. As for yourself: To get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these Things You Should Never Do During the Coronavirus Pandemic.