With one week left in the year, the pandemic is showing no signs of slowing down. The COVID Tracking Project has reset the record for COVID-19 related hospitalizations within a 24-hour span. More than 121,000 people were hospitalized for COVID-19 related illnesses on Monday. This marks the 27th consecutive day that the country reported more than 100,000 coronavirus related hospitalizations. As COVID-19 hospitalizations have steadily increased, coronavirus patients have increased from 16% in September to 40% last week.
December has proven to be the deadliest month of the pandemic. Thus far, more than 3,000 people have died from the virus per day for the last two weeks. In total, 65,000 people have died from the coronavirus in December. With the year coming to a close, the United States stands alone as the leader for coronavirus cases. America has endured upwards of 19 million cases and 335,000 deaths. Globally, the world has experienced 81 million cases and 1.7 million deaths.
Nearing the new year, health officials are worried that they will not have enough staff and space to care for the number of new COVID-19 related patients.
“When you run out of capacity, physicians and bioethicists in these hospitals will need to decide which patients are salvageable — potentially salvageable — and which patients aren’t,” Dr. Jonathan Reiner said.
“If we continue to see an increase in the number of COVID patients, we may be forced to do something that, as health professionals, we all really just loathe having to even think about,” Dr. Elaine Batchlor added.
Making matters worse, coronavirus vaccines are not being administered as quickly as many previously hoped. Logistical concerns and overwhelmed facilities have slowed down the process of starting a new program during a dark time in American history.
"I don't think the rollout went as well as many of us would have hoped," Dr. Daniel Griffin of ProHEALTH Care in New York said.
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