I'm thinking of taking a 3 month leave of absence. Why? I absolutely, positively, dread the next few months because the flu season is already out of control. ERs around the country are overwhelmed. Yesterday our ER saw 60 more patients than we normally do.
Let me tell you how a bad flu season affects hospitals: Not only will ER waiting rooms be full, but hospitals will have no beds. A lot of the time the flu hits the elderly, the very young and the chronically ill particularly hard. Those people end up being admitted. Now add those people to a hospital with a normal census and you have a recipe for disaster. I already hear talk that there is a shortage of ventilators.
What does this mean for the ER? If you have to be admitted, you will be waiting hours for a bed, in fact you may be in the ER overnight waiting. What does this mean for the normally healthy people choosing to make a bad decision and come to the ER for your flu symptoms? You will have at least 3-4 hour wait, if not longer, in the waiting with a mask on. The people who need admission to an inpatient bed have backed up the ER making no beds available to those in the waiting room. So prepare to set up housekeeping out there.
Don't come if you are normally healthy and are not severely dehydrated, short of breath, confused, elderly, a baby or have some other chronic illness. Please??
Don't have the flu? Don't want to get it?
1) Get a flu shot. Drugstores give them for $25. Might be the best 25 you spend this winter.
2) WASH WASH WASH your hands. In fact invest in some of that stuff you can carry around to clean your hands.
3) Stay away from coughing people or people who look like death warmed over.