“I will prepare and some day my chance will come.” – Abraham Lincoln
If some of the epidemiological models are right, California is projected to see a major surge of coronavirus patients in about a week.
The precise volume varies, depending on which factors, like the effectiveness of social distancing, are plugged into the algorithm. And if you spend enough time with the data, things can start to feel bleak, because this challenge is unlike any we’ve faced before.
California’s hospitals have cared for the ill and injured through all manner of disasters. But this one has the potential to be different – not only because it is projected to be statewide and nationwide, but also because so many people will need the exact same treatment at the exact same time.
This is why, over the past couple of weeks, we’ve all been in overdrive – converting space to make room for more beds, allocating protective equipment based on risk factors to ensure an adequate supply for the long haul, securing state and federal waivers so you can operate with all the flexibility you need.
All of this while many hospitals are struggling with cash flow due to suspending a good portion of scheduled surgeries.
Having spent many, many hours embedded with the Governor’s team in the state’s Office of Emergency Services, everyone is working 18-plus hours a day, and the dedication to supporting what hospitals need to do their jobs is impressive.
And while we hope the surge will not be as large as feared, we continue to work diligently on a strategy to clear the decks by securing state and federal waivers; advising the state on hospital operations; and fighting for financial assistance, PPE, ventilators, and more.
All of us, as health care providers, health care advocates, Californians, Americans, are united to face this challenge, aided by intense preparation over the past couple of weeks. Indeed, it is only through our unity and readiness that we can continue to be there for people in their darkest times.