America is in the throes of a fatal crisis. With 48 states considered coronavirus “hot spots” according to a recent Coronavirus Task Force Report—and a record 2,885 deaths from COVID-19 recorded yesterday, setting another record—many states are implementing urgent mitigation measures. A day after the Mayor of Los Angeles told his constituents to “cancel everything,” Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine begged her state’s residents to not leave the house and to follow all mitigation measures. “If you do not have to go out to the grocery store or the pharmacy, please stay home,” she said Wednesday. “By staying home, within your household, you can help us avoid that scenario where we could potentially run out of [hospital] beds.” Read on for her further warning, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had Coronavirus.
“We Can Not Return to Life as Normal,” Said Levine
Levine’s warning comes as hospitals are filling up some counties. Certain hospitals are, in fact, overfilling. “As of Thursday morning, there are just under 5,000 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Pennsylvania. More than 1,000 of those patients are in the ICU. Levine said ‘a number’ of counties have only a few ICU beds left. Some have no ICU beds left, she said,” according to Patch.com. “As of Thursday morning, just over 16 percent of the state’s ICU beds remain available, the state data dashboard shows.”
“We are certainly not through this yet. We can not return to life as normal right now,” Levine said. “Everyone is impacted by COVID-19.” In other words, if you need to go to the hospital for any reason, even for a non-COVID reason, like a car accident or bad fall, there may not be a bed for you. “Everyone.”
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The CDC is Also Concerned About Pennsylvania
The head of the CDC, Dr. Robert Redfield, namechecked Pennsylvania as a center of worry yesterday during an event hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “We are at a very serious time,” he said of the surge. “I guess the good news is the heartlands and the Northern Plains started to decline and hit their peak. But unfortunately at the same time that’s happening, the pandemic now is having a surge in Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, the Mid-Atlantic States—the Southern Sunbelt also now moving back up into the Northeast as well as unfortunately, California, Oregon, and Washington. So we really have a very extensive pandemic now, throughout the nation.”
Among his biggest fears: “Our hospitalization rates are going up…that’s one of our great concerns.”
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Follow the Fundamentals to Save A Life—Including Yours
How to stop the hospitals from filling up, and people dying? Redfield plumped for mitigation measures like “social distancing, hand-washing and being smart about crowds—doing things more outside than inside. These are critical mitigation steps which, to many people, seem simple, and they don’t really think it could have, you know, much of an impact. But the reality is they’re very, very powerful tools. They have an enormous impact. And right now it is so important that we recommit ourselves to this mitigation.”
A vaccine will be available to all come April. Until then, it won’t just be Pennsylvania in danger for the next few months; it will be us all. “We now begin to turn the corner with the vaccine, but the reality is December and January and February are going to be rough times,” said Redfield. “I actually believe they’re going to be the most difficult time in the public health history of this nation, largely because of the stress that’s going to put on our healthcare system.”
As for yourself, follow those fundamental mitigation measures, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.