What happened? In many communities, including my own, the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has come in like a freight train. People scrambled for testing kits before the holidays, with few to be found. Many are now sick and/or quarantined. The local emergency department went from long wait times to extremely
long wait times to diverting to other hospitals.
The Good News?
With the rapid spread occurring in much of the U.S., it is logical that increased exposure will lead to increased immunity among those who are asymptomatic and those who experience mild or non-life-threatening symptoms. At the same time, however, increased exposure is also leading to more pediatric cases, as well as increased hospitalizations and death. A shortage of health care workers due to exposures, infections, and moral injury further complicates the ongoing crisis.
So, is it possible that this surge could get us to herd immunity? Time will tell – but we certainly are facing significant risks.
Over the past two years, we have watched science evolve. We continue to learn more about COVID-19, treatments, and vaccinations, and we depend on the experts to keep us updated and safe. Recent updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on quarantine and isolation for the general population
and health care workers
, and the American Heart Association 2021 Interim Guidance to Health Care Providers for Basic and Advanced Cardiac Life Support in Adults, Children, and Neonates With Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19
have many scratching their heads. Why are we putting health care workers at risk? Who will be left to care for patients?
While I continue to struggle to understand these recommendations and have much concern for the ramifications, I found a resource to help make a little more sense of them. A group of researchers and clinicians, known as Those Nerdy Girls
, explains health policy
, and encourage us to keep a “cool head and a sharp mind when policy controversy flares.” Take some time to explore this post and others from these experts in nursing, mental health, demography, health policy/economics, and epidemiology.
As we emerge from the holidays and return to work and school, it is critical to follow the data and continue to follow public health measures to prevent the spread of the virus – wash your hands, wear your masks, and avoid exposing others if you are sick.
We will make it through this pandemic. We are trusted, we are smart, and we are strong, but we must work as a team. Follow the evidence. Answer questions and share reputable resources. Encourage vaccinations. And my fellow nurses…please stick together and take care of one another.