By: Chris Hanrahan
Jay Inslee remarked at his 11/24 Media Availability today that the almost- vertical curve for Washington Coronavirus infections was “really quite stunning”. As he tried to explain the plan ahead, he took some time to highlight how he saw the role of “the smart actions of Washingtonians” bearing out individually to “use science” to defeat the pandemic. Individual choices – to stay away from social gatherings and to sanitize in extra special 2020 ways for ourselves and our businesses.
Plywood and plexiglass is going up everywhere throughout Washington State and the guidelines going forward are in terms of “Vaccination” and a “Vaccine Nation” depending on who you talk to.
Slowing the Spread of Coronavirus was a series of actions promoted by Governor Inslee in the Spring and he is bringing the same strategy to the forefront of his “plan” in the Fall/Winter months of the pandemic now.
Citing a recent survey of people in states which asked respondents how safe they PLAN TO BE on Thanksgiving, Jay has noted that Washington “won”
(#1) and should be commended for achieving such a result. It is Jay’s opinion that on Coronavirus, Washington State has “led this Country in ‘so many different ways’; this is another way”.
In the early weeks of the pandemic Jay Inslee was very fast to note that while individuals would be responsible for the slowing of the spread, there would be no medals/awards for “doing the right things”.
During the 11.24.2020 Media Availability an ad was shown featuring actors in hospital beds pleading “we’re just trying to celebrate” and showing that coronavirus “can find you here, or even here” in an effectively ominous and haunting style. Run it. The ad says 1. Wear a mask 2. Stay 6 ft. apart 3. Don’t host gatherings. The stress is that “small decisions will beat this dreadful disease”. STAY HOME STAY SAFE is the jingle of the season this year.
Especially highlighted during the pre-Thanksgiving Media Availability was gatherings. Experts have found that the social settings are now very dangerous and should be avoided.
Dining in restaurants is also dangerous and has been banned. Information regarding these changes has been provided in the Spanish language as the Spanish speaking have unfortunately been disproportionately effected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Patients on Gurneys in Hallways are being given the only care available at some area hospitals, in overflow. Hospitals don’t have enough ICU Nurses to handle existing patients and the surge can more than be felt by the system. The surge is BECOMING the system. Nurses are urgently needed in the area to handle ICU surges which have been persistent for the duration of the pandemic so far. Inslee has announced a Medical Staff Shortage within the next 2-3 weeks if the current spike in infections is not mitigated.
Active plans in place for Distribution of the Virus have been created as part of #OperationWarpSpeed. Jay Inslee’s promise that ‘help is going to be here in a relatively short period of time’ refers to the milestone of “distribution” but is not a nod to the tangible real efforts made by the Trump Administration.
Vaccines will be made generally available in America and Globally next year, with doses available in highest priority areas in December. Right now, as for the distribution plan, Jay says “things are very much apace”.
Jay Inslee’s example is set when he explains that “[I] like saying President Elect Joe Biden” and uses the hard-to-stomach “Former President” label about President Donald J. Trump.
The current healthcare trajectory is very concerning (incorporating confirmed and suspected patients in hospitals) and hospitals are starting to delay non-urgent procedures. With only the most critical surgeries to be performed, what about patients that are not as far along the diagnosis chain yet?
Hospitals all have surge plans in place (to care for more patients than they would normally do) but how effective are those plans? Non-Urgent does not mean “not important” but it does mean something. What is needed care?
Crediting the plan for “buying space and time by not doing surgeries” Nathan Schlicher President, Washington State Medical Association speaks from a remote location, to do his part to limit the spread of the Birus.
Jay Inslee forecasts a time when care cannot be provided for some, “if things do not change soon”. The triage situation which controls who can get adequate care is part of the Dark Winter that “presumptive president” Biden has forecast. Lives are on the line that will be lost unless the trajectory of this disease is changed in some fashion. We could be in a situation with catastrophic loss of critical care.
According to Inslee, questions of equipment arise such as who gets the last ventilator, who gets the last ICU bed, and who gets the last medical professionals (Doctors, Nurses) too. It comes down to space and people. Tough Choices. Nobody is going to like the decisions made. Jay Inslee believes we have a good chance of avoiding the critical consequences and shared the information for that purpose.
The topic of one of the questions was calling in federal medical units – the potential option without current plans to ask for a specific number of nurses.
What is being deferred and delayed, medically speaking? It’s hard to say.
What is being denied that would otherwise be available? As for the healthcare status quo, some of the positivity has long been unfounded and there is a giant patient base of largely undocumented patients now grappling with this Novel Coronavirus.
Delaying or stopping some treatments such as cancer and other treatments costs lives and can only be defensibly done for so long. The current plan incorporates 3 weeks and will be extended (if something doesn’t change) if necessary.
Another question was asked about extending the closure of Restaurants and Gyms and Bowling Alleys before or after 4 weeks. Declining to answer, the answer is at this time a #maybe.
With the Infection Rate Graph (per capita in WA) heading almost straight up targeted reductions of social interactions are being made in the hope that we can still change the slope of the curve.
Washington State’s response in March was to shutter vast swaths of the economy (it worked) and Jay Inslee has explained that the state will take a limited and targeted approach this month.
“We are hopeful that targeted approach can bend that curve down,” stated Jay. “If not effective, will have no other options but to shut down other parts of the economy.”
Unemployment compensation and COBRA have been temporarily extended through the end of 2020, with conversations about the challenge in services and coverage (Federal) ongoing at all levels in Washington State.
To finish the news conference, Inslee shared a story where one woman was expressing her opinion about Covid-19 as the “biggest scam in American History” stating that it was difficult for him to understand people who just blow this off. With lots of people not taking Jay Inslee’s restrictions seriously, there are dire situations in our medical field that need addressing.
“Washingtonians are the smartest”, Jay concluded, referring once more to the result of survey touted earlier in his announcements. Through repeating it once more, Snake Jay Inslee can tout his ideas about high levels of compliance – “the most of any state” and suggest that we ought to celebrate that success at a social distance, if that is what he wants to focus on. At the end of the day, he is citing an opinion survey.