Nov 30, 2020 - Health

COVID hospital crisis continues to deepen as holiday season nears

A hospital patient moved on a stretcher.

Photo: ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

Axios keeps talking about how hospitals are filling up around the country. But as most of us took a break from the news over the last few days, the situation only worsened.

Driving the news: More hospitals are running out of beds or turning away new patients, limiting the care available to both coronavirus patients and those with other health care emergencies.

The big picture: Meanwhile, the death toll continues to climb. In nine states — New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Louisiana, Rhode Island, Mississippi, North Dakota and South Dakota — more than 1 in every 1,000 people have now died of coronavirus-related causes, per the WaPo.

Between the lines: The pandemic is abstract enough to millions of Americans that they traveled for Thanksgiving, and millions more continue to go about their daily lives. Meanwhile, health care workers are exhausted and burnt out, no longer celebrated as heroes the way they were in the spring.

  • “Nobody’s clapping anymore,” Jessica Gold, a psychiatrist at Washington University in St. Louis, told the NYT. “They’re over it.”

What we're watching: “Once you go over the case cliff, where you have so many cases that you overwhelm the’re going to see mortality rates go up substantially,” Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told the NYT.

  • “I shudder to imagine what things might be like in two weeks.”
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