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Tales of Coronavirus in Ohio From the Lens of an Educator and a Physician: Part 2: We Are Not Ready for the Impact of a Surge….

I am proud to be in the great state of Ohio and could not be more proud of our Governor Mike Dewine and Ohio Director of Health, Dr. Amy Acton and Lt. Governor Jon Husted.

I say this to start because when chaos is around us, praise those who are leading and making difficult decisions. I believe the stay home order has made a huge difference is preventing a surge and has given us time to get supplies and given us precious time to learn and prepare.

Channel 10 headlines “OhioHealth employee sounds alarm about coming patient surge. ‘I don’t think we’re ready’

Throughout the article, it shows a glimpse of what is happening everywhere – shortage of PPE, not enough beds, and not enough vents. And not enough tests. It also appears a lack of consistency of care and allocation of resources for health care employees and patients.

Abc6 on your side, shares the article “Plane carrying medical supplies from China landing in Central Ohio” showed a plane carrying medical supplies from China landing in central Ohio. It is part of Fema’s supply chain – from Shanghai: gloves, gowns, and ventilators – 10,113 boxes of gloves.

By staying home and not overwhelming our health care system, Battelle has been able to get FDA approval on cleaning N95 masks, 160,000 masks can be sterilized per day.

Nbc4i reports “Grove City woman loses 3 family members to COVID-19” this lady also has a 4th member of the family on a ventilator.

Current state of the hospitals – everyone is in dire needs of PPe and everyone is scrambling.

Because Ohio has been vigilant:

1. Battelle will clean 160,000 n95 masks

2. At least 10,000 gloves arrived

3. Hydroxychloroquin is seemingly working in high doses

4. People are seeing the need for social distancing

Small blessings….each of the above things is a blessing….

As I have mentioned previously, my dad died of H1n1 and were given many blessings along his passing. Let me explain….Dad progressively got worse over time…he developed the cough, the fever, the difficulty breathing (Ards) same as Coronavirus (acute respiratory distress) and pneumonia – all of which are similar to Corona….but he was in the hospital for 3 days, intubated (ventilator) suffered 2 strokes, received ECMO (and most likely would have survived if it had not been for the strokes) – my point is…we were given 25 days to let go. To say what we wanted, to give hugs (even though he was in a coma), to hold his hand, to pray, and to come to terms.

Right now, families cannot get that closure or they may be given at the last moment a goodbye. One thing that was the best thing we did- my dad’s parents were living and did not make the trek to the last hospital for his final 72 hours but we called his parents and them talk with my dad and say goodbye. One can say – that is ridiculous but it was a gift for my grandparents but also a gift for my dad. As soon as his parents said goodbye on speaker phone, my brother, Mom, and I also said goodbye and my dad’s comatose state changed and immediately he started shutting down. Within 10 minutes, he passed. I still say that small gesture of letting go – gave everyone peace.

What are your loved ones requests?….where are the account information, passwords, retirements, insurance, disability, wills, power of atty, medical healthcare power of atty, and who gets your dog, etc. I think if you are prepared, it won’t happen…maybe it is silly but be prepared and have the conversations. After my dad passed, I made a folder of my requests – Costco Casket, Return to Sender Casket Cover, and all my documents, credit cards info, account info in a few spots but those who need to know – know. It is something that I was unsure of typing here but I am open about things that should be addressed. When are you okay if someone lets you pass? In this situation, the decision may be made without consent if you are failing and someone else has a chance…..everything changes with a surge….not everything will go as planned and a lot of people will not get the care needed- trust me, it will happen. Healthcare workers will be working 16 hours shifts, won’t have access to meds, won’t have vents, or proper PPe. First responders will all be in the same boat and will all be struggling – families will have to make decisions and stress levels go through the roof. Facts not Fear – this will impact someone you know…

While Coronavirus seems like it won’t happen to healthy people; It is making healthy young people sick. The daily report continually shows it does not discriminate – it is attacking children, adults, men, women, etc. The reality of care is when there is a surge- procedures of who will be taken care of and who will not receive support if resources are limited. Have discussions now – you may not be able to enter the hospital and your loved one may be unable to communicate.

The more you stay home – the greater your chance is of not getting Covid 19. In Ohio, we are not to surge levels – surge levels mean quality of care goes down, resources and people are thin, and mistakes happen. It is going to get bad. It is going to get scary. I am worried and I am scared.

The longer I go without getting Covid19- the better – the best case scenario is getting the vaccine before getting the virus. I hope I make it to see the vaccine before getting the virus but who knows…

I see concern on B’s face. He is confident and always humble and kind. I have seen the face of worry, the face of (this is going to get real – right away) and the consistent reminders to stay home, wash my hands, and go where I have to; not just to go out n about. I am a busy body and love to be doing something. I am limiting my trips outside the house. I am doing everything I can to social distance and avoid getting the virus. I pray for all families and friends. This virus is very dangerous, does not care who it hurts … it is just a sad reality.

Hugs and prayers,

May God watch over of each of you. May you be blessed with a good immune system, good support system when you get lonely, and do your part to stay home or work if you have to!

XOXO,

Heidi

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