Hesham A Hassaballa's COLUMN

The “Second Wave” Is MUCH MUCH Worse

This ain’t no “wave”…it’s a Category 5 hurricane

I recently shared my angst about the coming of the dreaded “second wave” of COVID-19, about the menace that it poses and how it permeated everything around us. Well, the second wave has hit us full-on. And it’s so much worse than the first wave in the Spring.

The numbers are so much worse this time around. There are so many more patients with COVID-19 this time. Our institution has long surpassed the number of patients hospitalized in the Spring. Each day, patient after patient after patient with COVID keeps coming, and they keep getting admitted to the hospital.

We all hate this disease, we are sick of it, and we can’t wait for it to go away.

Every day, more patients are being admitted to our ICU because they can’t breathe despite remdesivir, despite steroids, despite high, high amounts of oxygen. And when we place them on ventilators, the outcomes still are not good.

And the patients are still so scared. It’s scary not being able to breathe. It’s scary being all alone in the hospital. It’s scary having a mask plastered to your face for hours on end, only to have a tube put down your throat anyway.

And when a patient does die, the tragedy has also not changed. Families still can’t be at the bedside when their loved one is passing away. The patients are still dying alone. Watching this agonizing situation unfold has not gotten any easier. We all hate this disease, we are sick of it, and we can’t wait for it to go away.

But it’s not going away. It’s getting worse. Way worse. What’s more, the level of community support is not like it was in the Spring. Now,we will do our jobs regardless of whether we get community support or not. It’s what we do in Healthcare. But that support was still nice. That’s no longer there, and it makes it that much harder.

The numbers in my state and across the country are out of control. Look at the country:

Source: NY Times

This is an unmitigated disaster, and our current national leadership has gone AWOL. Cases are rising. Hospitals (like mine) are filling up. People are suffering. People are dying. Their families are also suffering. It’s so much worse now. So. Much. Worse.

Like I said before, people are sick of the pandemic (we on the front lines are, too). There is major pandemic fatigue on the part of our population. But, the virus is not having pandemic fatigue. The virus is not getting tired. The virus is not taking a break.

The best sports teams play 100% every quarter (as a Bears fan, I know this painful fact all too well). That what differentiates the best teams from the rest. Right now, in this pandemic, maybe we are in the first few minutes of the third quarter? And we are way, way behind this virus.

We have to keep up the fight. We cannot let down our guard. “The cavalry is coming,” but we still have a lot of fight to go. The second wave is so much worse. But we have to face it head-on. We have no other choice but to do so.

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Dr. Hesham A. Hassaballahttp://drhassaballa.com
Dr. Hesham A. Hassaballa is a NY Times featured Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine specialist in clinical practice for over 20 years. He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine, Critical Care Medicine, and Sleep Medicine. He is a prolific writer, with dozens of peer-reviewed scientific articles and medical blog posts. He is a Physician Leader and published author. His latest book is "Code Blue," a medical thriller.

DR HESHAM A HASSABLLA

Medika Editor: Cardio and Pulmonary

Dr. Hesham A. Hassaballa is a NY Times featured Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine specialist in clinical practice for over 20 years. He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine, Critical Care Medicine, and Sleep Medicine.

He is a prolific writer, with dozens of peer-reviewed scientific articles and medical blog posts. He is a Physician Leader and published author. His latest book is "Code Blue," a medical thriller.

Medika are also thrilled to announce Hesham has recently joined our team as an Editor for BeingWell, Medika's publication on Medium

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