If Only Jha Knew Someone Important

Like, let’s say a president (boldface mine):

As the United States enters its third full covid winter, a top administration official is warning that the permanence of the coronavirus in the disease landscape could mean brutal and long-lasting seasonal surges of cold-weather illnesses for years to come, resulting in hospitals struggling to care for non-covid emergencies and unable to give patients timely, lifesaving treatments.

Winter has traditionally been crunchtime for hospitals because of influenza and another seasonal pathogen, respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV. Now SARS-CoV-2 has joined them to form an unholy trinity of pathogens that surge in the cold months.

White House covid-19 response coordinator Ashish Jha said the American health-care system may not be able to withstand the continued viral onslaught, straining the system’s ability to care for other serious illnesses.

“I am worried that we are going to have, for years, our health system being pretty dysfunctional, not being able to take care of heart attack patients, not being able to take care of cancer patients, not being able to take care of the kid who’s got appendicitis because we’re going to be so overwhelmed with respiratory viruses for … three or four months a year,” Jha told The Washington Post.

He described a scenario in which the typical winter logjam of patients begins much earlier than usual — in August or September — because of the coronavirus. It’s a darker scenario than the administration has portrayed in the past, and one Jha said most Americans have yet to realize.

I just think people have not appreciated the chronic cost, because we have seen this as an acute problem,” Jha said. “We have no idea how hard this is going to make life for everybody, for long periods of time.”

Like some asshole with a blog recently noted, we’re not seeing surges, with sharp peaks, but a general high tide. And speaking of chronic costs:

James Jarvis, a senior executive at Bangor-based Northern Light Health, the second-largest health system in Maine, shares Jha’s concerns. He said hospitals now expect to see patients who are sicker, including people with long covid, children more at risk for diabetes because of covid-19 infections and patients suffering from heart conditions related to previous bouts of the disease.

While the administration might believe that people have given up on masking and it simply won’t return–and in some parts of the country, that is likely correct–other places will wear masks if they realize there is a serious problem. The White House and the administration could model good behavior and recommend masking (and the august solons of the Supreme Court haven’t outlawed encouragement–so far, anyway…).

You can’t convince people you think there’s a problem, if you don’t act like there is one. That said, the article did mention an unnamed official who tried to undercut Jha’s message, so maybe the Biden administration is still in denial.

The American Carnage will continue for the time being.

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