It would appear that our awaited surge may have begun over the weekend as we experienced an uptick in inpatient admissions for symptomatic patients (PUI) awaiting results of their COVID-19 tests. Because these patients tend to require a longer length of stay, especially in the critical care environment, I am thankful we have made room for them through our efforts to reduce other clinical services and increase critical care capacity. We currently have several patients in the PUI status (two requiring ventilation) and a couple of COVID-19 positive patients, with just one requiring ventilator support.
As I write this note, I find myself searching for a different word than “COVID Patient”. It seems impersonal and cold. It is as if we are talking about a disease that has a person, rather than a person who happens to have the disease. Perhaps I feel so strongly about this because I made a call just a few hours ago to a member of our Hancock family who lost their spouse to this disease over the weekend. Though our conversation was brief, I could sense the anguish on the other end of the line and my tears flowed freely when our call ended.
I HATE this disease. I hate what it does to people and I hate what it has done to our country. We are engaged in a war against this disease and Hancock Health is just one front of the battle. Though I am prior-military, I have been reluctant to use the verbiage of warfare to describe this disease. But, as things progress, I increasingly recognize that our experience has all the markings of it. The long hours of anxious waiting, the moments of terror, the individuals engaged in the firefights, the casualty count. Let’s call it what it is and know that we will win the battle in Hancock County and the war will be won the world over, one human being at a time…
All the Best,