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Healthcare is a Boat- How COVID-19 is Overwhelming the Healthcare System

Healthcare is a Boat- How COVID-19 is Overwhelming the Healthcare System


The healthcare system is a boat.. This boat carries people across the water
from being sick to being well, and it does that pretty well most of the time. This boat
only has so many spots on it, though, and because of all the social, political and economic
realities of the world , that boat even on the best days is mostly full and constantly
springing leaks. Sometimes people get on the boat knowing they won’t make it all the
way across. Other times people fall off because a railing broke or some other issue with the
boat. Some people aren’t allowed on the boat because they can’t buy a ticket. That
is how the boat normally functions. There are times during a regular year, like
in a bad flu season, where more people need to get on the boat than normal. This can cause
the boat to get too full and too heavy and start to sink. Our system has dealt with this
in the past by using life boats, or moving people to other boats, to try to keep all
the boats above water. Then there is the unprecedented challenge
presented by coronavirus. The boats this year are already pretty full, but suddenly it looks
like there is going to be way more people than can possibly get across the water looking
for a seat. When all the people who need to get on the boat try, and all the boats are
in the same position, the only thing that can happen is that the boat starts to sink. Even worse, the people who drive that boat
or who fix those leaks start to get sick, there is nobody left to get people across
that sea. Now people who used to make it safely across are not as likely to make it, and all
the people left on the other side have no ride. Also, sometimes to make room, difficult
decisions need to be made about who can get on and who will have to be taken off the boat.
This is what is currently happening in Italy. But if we all use social distancing and isolation
to keep a slower rate of people attempting to board, the boats can still help the new
coronavirus patients as well as all the other patients who need urgent treatment. So do the right thing: stay home, practice
good hand hygiene, if you are sick, isolate yourself if you can do it safely at home,
and follow the instructions of your public health officials and doctors. This will allow
us all to have a chance to sail on.

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. This is what people need to understand. Our healthcare system cannot tolerate what is coming. People need to take this crisis more seriously. There needs to be state wide "shelter in place" mandates across the nation with enforcement. Too many irresponsible people are out who continue to put others at risk unnecessarily.