Not good news. 

Courtesy of NPR:

More than 1,000 hospitals across the United States are “critically” short on staff, according to numbers released this week by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Those hospitals, which span all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, represent about 18% of all hospitals that report their staffing status to HHS. And that number is expected to grow: 21% of all hospitals reporting say they anticipate having critical staffing shortages in the next week.

The worst-hit state is North Dakota with 51% of hospitals that reported saying they’re facing shortages; seven states say over 30% of their hospitals are in trouble.

This is the first time the federal agency has released this data, which includes limited reports going back to summer. The federal government consistently started collecting this data in July. After months of steadily trending upward, the number of hospitals reporting shortages crossed 1,000 this month and has stayed above since.

The data, however, are still incomplete. Not all hospitals that report daily status COVID-19 updates to HHS are reporting their staffing situations, so it’s impossible to tell for sure how much these numbers have increased.

The takeaway from this is actually pretty simple, if you get sick there may not be a hospital bed waiting for you, nor medical professionals who can care for you, so preventing infection is your best bet and that means wear your fucking mask!

In my opinion, the majority of these infections are the result of people not respecting how aggressive this virus is and not taking the steps necessary to keep themselves safe. 

And that is not likely to change during this Thanksgiving holiday.

Courtesy of Market Watch:

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday said it was “alarmed” about the 1 million new infections over the last week, and recommended against traveling this Thanksgiving. Potential alternatives include a virtual Thanksgiving meal with friends or loved ones and contact-free delivery of safely prepared traditional dishes to family and neighbors, the CDC added.

Despite these recommendations, AAA, formerly known as the American Automobile Association, estimates that 50 million people will travel over the “Thanksgiving holiday travel period,” a five-day stretch from Wednesday, Nov. 25 to Sunday, Nov. 29, down from 55 million last year; 95% will travel by car. AAA used economic forecasting and research from the insights firm IHS Markit.

AAA anticipates Thanksgiving air travel will fall by nearly half this year to 2.4 million from 4.58 million last year, the biggest annual air-travel decrease on record. “AAA reminds air travelers that in-flight amenities, including food and beverage services, may not be available,” the group says. “Also, as a precaution, wipe down your seat, armrest, belt buckle and tray table using disinfecting wipes.”

So despite warnings from doctors, scientists, and the CDC a large number of Americans will risk everything and turn Thanksgiving into yet another super spreader event. 

And now people who actually are playing it safe, but might need hospital care for purely non-Covid-19 related reasons may not receive the care they need either due to hospitals being overwhelmed with those who failed to follow simple guidelines. 

That is just incredibly selfish.