The life-threatening coronavirus is not going to stop anytime soon and the United States is now the new epicenter with over 1,23,000 active cases and 2200 deaths across the country. Amid this chaotic situation, the health officials are continuously doing their best to save lives and attend to the increasing number of positive cases in the country. But, as things are getting worse, the medical facilities and support system is also falling apart in the country. The problems US is facing due to coronavirus is only increasing over each passing day.
Problems US is facing due to Coronavirus
With the highest number of positive cases of coronavirus, the per capita rate of the known cases is varying widely because of the vast population difference in the country.
As of today, 29 March, 2020, the reported cases has crossed the 123,000 mark with the death toll crossing 2200.
The United States covers more than 123,000 of the 664,000 (approx.) total cases reported across the world. New York has reported a total of 53,455 cases and recorded a death toll of 883 as of 28 March. This whopping number makes it the city with highest number of known coronavirus cases in the United States.
As per the US officials, there are new number of fatalities with each passing day and it is only increasing. On 28, March, the worldometers reported around 19,750, new cases and 500 new deaths in the country. That’s frightening!
Medical officials strive to provide care
The sudden spike of cases has got all the hospital around the country striving to stand up to the increasing demand for care. While Chicago and Detroit see the continuous rise of corona positive cases, New York remains to cover almost half of the total reported cases in the United Cases.
The New York Bellevue Hospital Center formed a makeshift morgue using refrigerated trucks and tents. On 24 March, around 13 patients died in front of the Elmhurst Hospital Center in Queens.
A nurse at a Long Island hospital described her experience of treating coronovirus patients and how it is taking a toll over their health.
In a social media post, she wrote, “I haven’t slept because my mind won’t shut off. I cried in the bathroom on my break, as I peeled off the PPE from my sweaty self, mask indentations on my face. I cried the entire ride home.”
As per the reports of CNN, who kept her unknown, the nurse told how patients come rushing into the hospital with non-stop coughing, fevers and sweat. She said they come with ‘fear in their eyes.’
In the interview with CNN, the nurse added, “I cry for the ones who passed away. I cry because we intubated 5 patients within 10 min and I am terrified. I cry for my co workers, because we know it will get worse and I already feel like that is impossible and we are already at our breaking point, I cry for the parents, children, siblings, spouses who cannot be with their loved ones who may be dying but cant have visitors because there is no visiting allowed.”
Detroit and Chicago to become the next hot spots of the US
The coronavirus outbreaks in New York, California and Washington have got the country’s attention for weeks now. However, some health officials predict areas of Illinois and Michigan could be the new epicenters of the pandemic.
The coronavirus reponse coordinator of the White House, Dr. Deborah Birx, said the medical officials are predicting that counties like Michigan, Wayne County and Cook County, Illinois are coming up with ‘more rapid increase’ in cases.
Hospitals encounter equipment shortages
As the cases continue to rise in the US, several hospitals will run out of beds within the next two weeks.
In an interview with the CNN, Dr. Rebekah Gee, the former Louisiana Secretary of Health said, “If more beds are not available, then we don’t have resources to save the lives we need to save. That’s why these stay-at-home orders are so important.”
“But we have not seen the peak of the crisis yet,” Gee added.
As per the words of the former Louisiana Secretary of Health, due to the shortage of masks the health care providers are using plastic office report covers. They are punching holes into these covers and running a string through it to use as protective masks.
Gee said, “I think what’s just as concerning is the fact that we need more ventilators. And that is something that the federal government needs to step in and fix.”
Many health care providers have asked President Donald Trump to bring the Defense Production Act into use to boost the availability of essential health equipment.
However, Trump and the FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) gave conflicting information about the use of the act.
New York could only use one ventilator for every two patients
In order to be cappable addressing the dire need of medical equipment, New York state would be using approved technology. This technology will allow two patients to use a single ventilator.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo named the method ‘splitting’ and told CNN that it involves an addition of the second set of tubes to the ventilator.
Cuomo said, “It is not ideal, but we believe it is workable.”
In the present scenarios, New York hospitals require around 30,000 ventilators and sufficient personal protection for the next 14 days.
On Wednesday, the hospitals got 4000 ventilators ready and another 4000 would have reached by now. The state has also purchased 7000 ventilators and the shopping continues.
According to Bill de Blasio, the Mayor of New York City, these ventilators will make the difference of life and death for several New Yorkers.
Mayor London Breed of San Francisco said that her city could experience see a great surge in coronavirus cases, much similar to New York City. As per her estimation, San Francisco would require around 5000 new hospital beds and 1500 ventilators.
To believe Breed’s words, if people who are coming down to the streets continue congregating to each other, continue interacting with each other, it will only contribute in spreading of the virus. There won’t be sufficient beds in the hospitals, not enough ICU beds, ventilators to support the affected people.
People not willing to stay in
While the country strives to tackle the overwhelming situation of this worsening crisis, people are no mood to listen to medical or government officials. Almost 21 states are under stay-at-home orders across the country, with some more to join the list in the coming week.
Florida and Georgia do not have any statewide rules, but Atlanta issued its own stay-at-home orders. Similarly, Miami declared a nighttime curfew.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago announced on Thursday that paths bike trails and green spaces would be closed when they spotted crowds on the lakefront of the city.
Lightfood said, “Congregating on our lakefront, to be blunt, is going to create a risk that is unacceptable and could lead to death. Dear God, stay home, save lives.”
The delaration was a result of the Interim Chicago Police Superintendent Charlie Beck’s orders to the Police. He said that the Police will start issuing citations to residents who will not follow the orders of social distancing and stay-at-home.
Beck said that anyone who breaks the orders will have a citation of a $500 fine under misdemeanor punishment. In case the violation continues, people would be in physical arrest.
In view of the increasing cases, New York has now restricted nonessential gatherings and businesses. The residents are told to stay indoors and limit their outdoor activities. The Mayor of NYC said that the othe non-compliant businesses violating the orders will have civil fines issued against them.
Set on a similar path, Los Angeles will be enforcing restrictions against the non-essential businesses violating the social distancing orders.
However, LA will not stop the common men for leaving their homes.
Record-setting unemployment seeps in the country
America is seeing conditions of unemployment like never before. With the business shutdown across the country, a large number of Americans have filed for unemployment benefits in the first week.
As per the Department of Labor Statistics, almost 3.3 million Americans claimed for initial jobless benefits in the first week (until Saturday, 27 March).
It is the highest number of unemployed citizens ever recorded under the Department of Labor since 1967. Previously, the highest number was 695,000 claims on October 2, 1982.
Some of the Americans hope for some ray of hope from a $2 trillion stimulus bill, but some doesn’t find it helpful.
The outbreak could stay for another 12 to 18 months
A doctor from the Harvard Global Health Institute said that the dangerous outbreak will not subside by this summer. It is an unrealistic expectation seeing the current situations of the crisis in the country.
The director of Harvard Global Health Institute, Dr. Ashish Jha, said “We are going to be living with this, in form or another, for 12 to 18 months if we are lucky.”
This time frame is set given the months it would take for the health officials to make a vaccine available to the public.
Jha added, “Once we have a vaccine that’s effective and widely deployed, we can bring the pandemic to an end. Until that time, we are going to continue to have to confront and deal with the virus.”
In a nutshell
The United States in under unimaginable threat of lives and resources due to the coronaviris outbreak. The problems US is facing due to Coronavirus is a mirror for other countries to buck up gathering more healthcare supplies, pose strict shutdown orders and other crucial measures.