Ok, I feel compelled to comment from the front lines of people treating COVID-19 patients (for anyone stumbling on this blog – I’m an ER nurse). This one has to do with science and not the state of ER’s attempting to handle this mess.
Epidemiology is predicated on analyzing objective data – in the case of the spread of COVID-19, we’re essentially talking about how many cases exist in the general population, and perhaps more importantly, what the mortality rate of the disease is.
And yet – from my perspective (and I work in an ER in the largest hospital in New York City), basically no one is tested. That is, unless you are being admitted to the hospital.
Just mull THAT over for a minute. Mind you, I’m no infectious disease expert, but how can you possibly track a disease you’re not even testing for?
Now, I have no idea what government agency is responsible for bungling this mess, and quite frankly, I don’t give a shit. ‘‘Twas ever thus in this country – to quote Billie Holiday: Them that’s got shall get, them that’s not shall lose.”
So don’t believe what you read in the papers or hear online – no one has a fucking clue how many people have contracted it. I know, because I work closely with quite a few brilliant ER docs, and I’m constantly grilling them for information on how we’re handling testing. They are all exasperated and quite forthcoming about their frustration.
Hopefully this will change, and when it does, I’ll report it here, if for no other purpose than to simply give me a timeline of where we are in this shitshow at this point in time.
Unsurprisingly, given the current state of America, it’s a steaming plate of incompetence.
Of epic proportions.