This morning I woke up to grim news. Right here in Baton Rouge, a newborn died from the coronavirus. The newborn was one of seven more coronavirus-related deaths in East Baton Rouge Parish, where I live. The baby’s mother was admitted into the hospital with symptoms and then yesterday she gave birth to a baby girl who died this morning. The official cause of death was the coronavirus.
Yesterday, I found out that someone I knew in my hometown died from the coronavirus. Several police officers here have it now. And also, those living under the I-10 bridge just up the street from me may be infected — to the point that, for their safety, the police have stopped from making an arrest. This news is from a neighbor who lives on that side of the block. I don’t know if that is true, as I only have her point of view.
In Louisiana, as in other places, healthcare workers are being forced to work without pay. One of my friends told me that she hasn’t been paid in over a month since the state closed down non-essential offices, including insurance, Medicaid/Medicare, and even VA — those who are working in payroll are somehow not considered essential. This means that local companies that hire caregivers and that are dependent on the state to pay their employees are not able to do so.
This is why I and many others continue to ask for help. This is why we are always on Twitter trying to find a way to get aid. This is why people like Dr. Jonathan Richards, people working on the frontlines, speak out.
I’m a Pulmonary/Critical Care Doc on the Front Lines in ICU in Louisiana. So happy to see this as a Tesla Owner/MD! If I can help in ANY WAY, please let me know!
— JRich (@JRichNOLA) April 5, 2020
Everyone needs ventilators, I get it. New York is critical. But, in my opinion, this doesn’t give people the right to dismiss us and mock us. When a critical care doctor on the front lines tweets, this doesn’t give you the right to try to discredit him behind a $tslaq symbol, an anonymous image, and a keyboard. Especially if you are doing nothing to help fight this pandemic.
Beyond despicable $TSLAQ…
This demands action. Block list is coming. It's about time someone feeds you your own dog food. pic.twitter.com/CVG8ajXCIL
— TriTexan (@TriTexan) April 6, 2020
Right now, this is a time when we need to support one another. Locally and virtually. People are learning quickly that we can’t really rely on our messed up federal government. We need to put aside this attitude of “it’s a hoax,” or “stop bothering me,” and help one another. In the face of this pandemic, pettiness will only add more hurt to those who are suffering. When it happens to you — and it likely will — and you reach out for help, you’d better hope that the people you are reaching out to don’t say, “Stop bothering me.”
A few weeks ago, we lived in a society in which if you had to have a medical procedure done, you could hold the hand of your loved one for comfort as a way to face the fear until the anesthesia put you to sleep. This is not the case anymore. “The patients usually try and get the words out but they can’t. They’re just gasping for air. They can’t even say ‘I love you,'” an ICU nurse at Our Lady of the Lake Medical Center, which is just 10 minutes from my home, told NOLA.com.
People are dying, and I know Baton Rouge is one among many cities being devastated by this virus. However, we can’t dismiss those who are grieving and pretend that it is just a hoax or it isn’t real. This attitude will kill more people simply due to your refusal to acknowledge its reality.
Some Good News: Louisiana Gets Ventilators!
Major good news coming from the LA Gov's press conference:
-200 Ventilators sent by National Stockpile
-Donations of Zpacks and Hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 treatment by Teva
-Curve may start to flatten
"We've bought ourselves more time,"–@LouisianaGov
— GettingStoned.eth (@_GettingStoned) April 6, 2020
On a positive note, our governor just gave a press conference minutes ago in which he said that the measures our state is taking (stay-at-home measures) are starting to flatten the curve. This doesn’t mean we start doing normal things again — it means that we need to continue staying home.
Louisiana has also received just over 700 ventilators, which will hopefully last through the rest of the week. This is very good news. Arkansas sent 5 and the federal government sent 200 from the national stockpile. In total, Louisiana has received 753 ventilators.
“Now we have to keep it up. Now is not the time to become lax."
— Sam Karlin (@samkarlin) April 6, 2020
Photo at top © Johnna Crider, CleanTechnica
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