In the Atlantic, Ed Yong writes about the impact of the current COVID variants and the state of the health care system.
There is a lot to take in here and his summary is most telling:
“Some experts are hopeful that Omicron will peak quickly, which would help alleviate the pressure on hospitals. But what then? Ranney fears that once hospitalizations start falling, policy makers and the public will assume that the health-care system is safe, and do nothing to address the staffing shortages, burnout, exploitative working conditions, and just-in-time supply chains that pushed said system to the brink. And even if the flood of COVID patients slows, health-care workers will still have to deal with the fallout—cases of long COVID, or people who sat on severe illnesses and didn’t go to hospital during the surge. They’ll do so with even less support than before, without the colleagues who are quitting their jobs right now, or who will do so once the need and the adrenaline subside. “Right now, there’s a sense of purpose, which lets you mask the trauma that everyone is experiencing,” Pooran said. “My fear is that when COVID is done with and everything does quiet down, that sense of purpose will go away and a lot of good people will leave.”
There’s a plausible future in which most of the U.S. enjoys a carefree spring, oblivious to the frayed state of the system they rely on to protect their health, and only realizing what has happened when they knock on its door and get no answer. This is the cost of two years spent prematurely pushing for a return to normal—the lack of a normal to return to.”