Health workers speak out under devastating conditions of rising “triple epidemic” in the US and Canada

A wave of infections is sweeping across North America, stressing the already overstretched health care system and stretching health care personnel to the limit. COVID-19, in combination with RSV and influenza, constitute the “triple threat” that is creating deadly and unsustainable conditions in pediatric and adult hospitals alike.

The most recent data shows that average daily cases of COVID-19 in the US have risen nearly 40 percent in the past two weeks, with deaths also up 25 percent. And just about two months into the traditional flu season, cases and hospitalizations have already far exceeded pre-pandemic numbers.

Many hospitals are more than 100 percent full. Doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers are struggling to handle the rush of patients coming through emergency room doors, many of whom need hospital beds. Nursing homes are also understaffed and many residents are being affected by respiratory viruses.

Registered nurses dress in protective gear before entering a patient’s room in the COVID-19 ICU at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, in Lebanon, New Hampshire, on Monday, January 3, 2022. [AP Photo/Steven Senne]

A West Coast Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), who chose to remain anonymous, summed up the situation she and her coworkers face in a long-term care facility in an interview with world socialist website reporters

This CNA said: “COVID everywhere, flu everywhere, every other illness imaginable from stomach colds and bed bugs everywhere… I am doing the best I can, but at the same time I am counting the days until I inevitably get sick or try to take care of someone. and realize that they are dead. My residents are between the ages of 70 and 95, but that’s no reason to ignore the last chapter of their lives and how they spend it, and I’ve heard numerous co-workers refer to my wing as the ‘death wing’ in recent years. days”.

These conditions are a direct result of the government’s disastrous health care and pandemic policies. The decision, not based on a thread of scientific evidence, to abandon the most minimal protection measures —such as face masks, isolation and contact tracing—, as well as the opening of schools and the return to face-to-face work, has intensified infections and reinfections. . Some of the most vulnerable in the country are particularly affected: children, the elderly, and the chronically ill and immunocompromised.

Despite President Biden’s declaration that “the pandemic is over,” rates of hospitalization and death from COVID-19 are currently rising, as seen in recent data from the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center. This data shows the 7-day average of hospitalizations at 40,413, compared to a 7-day average of 27,880 hospitalizations in Thanksgiving week.

Deaths are also increasing from a 7-day average of 299 deaths Thanksgiving week to the current 7-day average of 425 deaths. All of these numbers are likely underestimates, as many states no longer track daily deaths and cases or report the numbers regularly to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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