Healthcare workers speak out in devastating conditions about the rise of the ‘triple disease’ in the US and Canada

A wave of infections is spreading across North America, straining the already overburdened healthcare system and pushing healthcare workers to their limits. COVID-19 combined with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza form the “triple threat” creating deadly and unsustainable conditions in both children’s and adult hospitals.

The latest data shows that average daily COVID-19 cases in the US have increased by nearly 40 percent over the past two weeks, with deaths also up by 25 percent. And just about two months into the traditional flu season, cases and hospitalizations have already far exceeded pre-pandemic numbers.

Many hospitals are at over 100 percent capacity. Doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers are struggling to manage the deluge of patients pouring through emergency room doors, many of whom require hospital beds. Nursing homes are also understaffed and many residents are being stalked by respiratory viruses.

Registered nurses are fitted with protective gear before entering a patient’s room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire, Monday, January 3, 2022. [AP Photo/Steven Senne]

A West Coast Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), who wished to remain anonymous, summarized the situation she and her colleagues face at a long-term care facility in an interview with World Socialist Web Site Reporter.

This CNA said, “COVID everywhere, flu everywhere, every other head cold stomach bug imaginable everywhere… I’m doing my best but at the same time counting down the days until I’ll inevitably get sick or try to care for someone.” and realize they are dead. My residents range in age from 70 to 95, but that’s no reason to ignore the final chapter of their lives and how they pass, and I’ve heard numerous colleagues in recent days refer to my wing as ‘Death Row’ .”

These conditions are a direct result of the government’s disastrous health and pandemic policies. The non-scientific decision to drop the minimal protective measures – such as masking, isolation and contact tracing – as well as the opening of schools and the return to face-to-face work has increased infections and reinfections. Some of the country’s most vulnerable are particularly affected: children, the elderly, as well as the chronically ill and immunocompromised.

Despite President Biden’s declaration that “the pandemic is over,” COVID-19 hospitalization rates and deaths are currently rising, according to recent data from Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center. This data shows the median 7-day hospitalizations at 40,413, versus a 7-day median of 27,880 hospitalizations during Thanksgiving week.

Deaths are also rising from a 7-day average of 299 deaths during Thanksgiving week to the current 7-day average of 425 deaths. All of those numbers are likely underestimated because many states are no longer tracking daily deaths and cases, or don’t regularly report numbers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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