COVID-19: The Risk to Individuals vs. the Risk to the Medical System
Social media has a role to play in this time of COVID-19. It's a great way to check in on family and friends, research the latest information and more. But some of that "more" can mean panic and misinformation. Social medial can fan the flames of panic and present the soothing calm on most cultural phenomena.
So who is the guy who says he's the doc of social media? Kevin? KevinMD, social media's leading physician's voice, is the title on the Facebook page. Wikipedia says "Kevin" is Kevin Pho, an American physician of internal medicine, media commentator, public speaker, author, and founder and editor of KevinMD.com, a website aimed at medical professionals.
Kevin MD has some pretty reasonable explanations and advice on dealing with the coronavirus.
From the website this very understandable explanation of the risk to our overall medial system:
What we as physicians are most concerned about is systemic risk. Complex systems, such as our health care system, function because all the moving pieces fit together and interact with one another in such a way that the system functions under normal loads, lower than normal loads, and slightly higher than normal loads but may break down under the very high loads we anticipate with COVID-19. We have watched in horror at what is taking place in Italy where their health care system is failing. The health care system was overwhelmed by a flood of people requiring critical medical care, all arriving too close together in time. Italy does not have enough ICU beds, ventilators (mechanical breathing machines), and medications to manage all the patients that needed it. Physicians in Italy are judging who gets an ICU bed and critical care and who does not because there is not enough supply to take care of everyone. We do not want to see this happen here. This should be very clear:
This will happen here, and it will happen soon – possibly in one to two weeks – if we do not take very bold steps at this time.
In Dave-the-radio-guy terms: We can't handle a stampede of everyone getting sick at the same time, which is likely because of the highly contagious nature of the coronavirus. While flu season stretches out over a few months and allows limited sick beds to be cleared before the next sick person comes in, the concern with COVID-19 is that overwhelming numbers will all get sick at the same time and multiple patients will need the only few available beds, crashing the medical system. So rather than deal with the triage and fallout from that, decisions are being made that will crush the economy as we willingly and forcibly separate from each other.
Now consider this from the Grim Reaper: Is it possible we will crush our economy in an effort to save our octogenarians, who will then subsequently pass on of natural causes in a couple of years, long before the recovery of the national economy? (Which is us, jobs, activities, opportunities.)