Editor of the Pipestone Flyer, Shaela Dansereau.

Editor of the Pipestone Flyer, Shaela Dansereau.

Dansereau: Don’t let our health care systems become overwhelmed

Opinion

Let me paint you a picture. Hospital ICU beds are full, field hospitals established and our health care workers are brutally overwhelmed.

I hear so many people saying that we have the equipment, we have the beds if we need them, we have the resources. We may be able to get more beds, that’s true. But do you know what we won’t be able to get more of? Which resource is quickly dwindling?

Staff.

Front line workers are getting sick, and extremely burnt out both physically and emotionally. Sure there might be a bed if you need it, but it won’t do you much good if there aren’t any health care professionals to help you.

They are exhausted, they are overwhelmed, they are fighting a fire that the public keeps pouring gasoline on.

Imagine being a firefighter and putting out a forest fire just for people to tell you that the fire was all imaginary propaganda being fed to us by the government and then relighting it. Seems ludicrous right? Then why are we doing that to our health care workers?

Let me paint you a picture.

They may be able to deal with the COVID-19 patients that come in to the hospitals, and you might think, that doesn’t affect me because I don’t have COVID-19, but it can:

If our health care systems become too overwhelmed, if we need medical attention we may not be able to get it.

Imagine this: if the hospitals become overwhelmed and your daughter burns her arm she won’t be able to go to the emergency room because it is closed. The closest treatment she will be able to receive is a 12-hour wait at the local clinic. If you break a leg and require surgery you might get splinted and not get the surgery you require in time to save you from having permanent issues with that leg.

If your father has a heart attack, there may not be enough resources to get to him in time to save him.

We need to do our best to help our health care workers, to slow the spread of this virus so our health care systems don’t become overwhelmed. Because you don’t, and health care workers certainly don’t want to have to make the call on who gets treatment and who doesn’t.

And it can happen — just look back at the health care system in Italy in the spring. Please just wear a mask; wash your hands. The greatest gift you can give this year is keeping your family safe.

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