I got a call from the Quinnipiac poll the other night and spent 15 minutes answering questions about the presidential candidates, the economy, health care and COVID-19. I was able to answer all the questions pretty easily. I didn’t like either Biden or Trump, but would vote for Biden. I liked Fauci, but was skeptical of the CDC. I thought Trump should wear a mask when he goes out in public. I would not get on an airplane or dine in a restaurant, but was okay with my kids going back to school in the fall. I didn’t think there would be a vaccine for over a year, etc.
Here are the poll results.
One question I had difficulty with concerned the balance between the economy and the public health. Seventy five percent of Americas said the country should open slowly even if it continued to hurt the economy. To me public health and the economy go hand in hand. You need an economy to have public health and without public health, you can’t have an economy. I am of the belief nowadays that as we enter the summer when cases may dip and prepare for the fall when it may come roaring back, I think our efforts should be directed at protecting the most vulnerable –nursing homes, prisoners, people in group homes. They should have available regular testing and people working with them should have access to the best PPE. For the rest of the society, put safe practices in place, and as long as they are followed, it’s okay to keep things open.
I worked in the city yesterday and the only COVID calls I heard were for people getting released from the hospital and sent back to nursing homes by ambulance. I did only 911s and never had to put an isolation gown on while the crews doing transfers were the ones who had to gown, glove, mask, and face shield up to enter the COVID wards and transport the patients back to their nursing homes.
It certainly has a feel that things are changing out there. Retail stores are open, people can dine outside at restaurants. The next phase will open all my pet concerns, swimming pools, gyms, youth sports and tattoo parlors. I recently got my first tattoo at 61 and i’m all psyched to get my second.
Yesterday I drove by one city park where they were having an outdoor barbecue and there must have been sixty people out with very few wearing masks or social distancing. At the same time, I did encounter another patient who refused to go to the hospital despite her visiting nurse calling 911. The woman had increased swelling in her legs and according to the nurse had rales in her bases. She was alert and oriented and walking around and wanted no part of us. I tried to convince her that the hospitals were not crowded and that hospitals were among the safest places to be due to all the cleaning. She just shook her head. Then when I was getting the refusal, I had a coughing fit. Now her apartment was on the third floor and it was hot and dusty with no ventilation, and I had my N95 and face shield on, and I just started letting loose. I couldn’t breath. Very embarrassing. I almost passed out. I coughed so hard. I was proving her point. After she signed, I fled back to my fly car and hacked for about five minutes until I could get the phlegm off my throat. I then drove to 7-11 and got a super gulp of blue powerade with ice to the top and felt much better.
Speaking of not going to the hospital, the state of Connecticut released this graph yesterday showing the decline in ED volume since the onset of COVID. Visits are down 40-50% and are only now showing the slightest of upticks.
For all the people calling for a reopening and all the people having the barbecue in the park, the majority of Americans it seems, like the poll said, are a bit afraid of venturing out.
I hope we keep the social distancing up. If we get a second wave in the Fall or sooner, I would like it to be a mild one and not apocalyptic.
Let’s stay safe. We are all in this together.