Gotta work together … worldwide!!
The world is learning, slowly but surely, that the fight against COVID-19 demands a global response, and we sincerely hope that the Caribbean is well on the way with regional coordination.
Theworld is learning, slowly but surely, that the fight against COVID-19 demands a global response, and we sincerely hope that the Caribbean is well on the way with regional coordination.
By Caribbean we do not mean only the Caribbean Community (Caricom) — which includes the English-speaking countries, Haiti, and Suriname — but the Caribbean that encompasses Cuba, Central America, Colombia, and Venezuela as well.
Each country in the Caribbean has been impacted by COVID-19 and each government has responded with its own unique programmes. Although there are certain broad commonalities, each national programme is different.
While individual governments might think they have done the best for their country, the efficacy of their policy packages would be strengthened considerably by coordinating with each other, as in sharing knowledge, bulk purchasing of medicines and negotiating as one with cruise ship companies and airlines, and…
By now, pretty much everyone knows the importance of “social distancing” while we attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus. However, if you’re not exactly sure why it helps, perhaps this video created by LA-based artist Juan Delcan and his partner Valentina Izaguirre can help.
Titled Safety Match, the now-viral animation shows a single line of burning matchsticks, until one matchstick steps out of the line, effectively breaking the chain and stopping the fire (aka the virus) from spreading.
The animation was inspired by a similar, viral image, showing a row of burned matches with one match removed from the line, resulting in all of the other matches being saved from the flames. Delcan and Izaguirre have actually been creating animations of matchsticks for some time (Delcan directs and Izaguirre builds the sets).
While their other animations depict lighthearted scenarios, the Safety Match video shares an important message. Delcan posted the video on Twitter earlier this week with the following caption:
Today’s fare is a bit beyond Snarky Snippets and more into the territory of full-fledged rants.
You know it’s bad when a republican does something so wrong that even Tucker Carlson calls them on it …
“[Burr] had inside information about what could happen to our country, which is now happening, but he didn’t warn the public. He didn’t give a prime-time address. He didn’t go on television to sound the alarm. He didn’t even disavow an op-ed he’d written just 10 days before claiming America was ‘better prepared than ever’ for coronavirus. He didn’t do any of those things. Instead, what did he do? He dumped his shares in hotel stocks so he wouldn’t lose money, and then he stayed silent. Now maybe there’s an honest explanation for what he did. If there is, he should share it with the rest of us immediately. Otherwise, he must…
Yes … Cuba is sending a medical brigade to Italy!! … ‘The Caribbean island has sent its “armies of white robes” to disaster sites around the world largely in poor countries since its 1959 revolution. Its doctors were in the front lines in the fight against cholera in Haiti and against ebola in West Africa in the 2010s.’
Nelson Acosta (Reuters) reports that Cuba has sent a brigade of medical personnel to northern Italy:
Communist-run Cuba said it dispatched a brigade of doctors and nurses to Italy for the first time this weekend to help in the fight against the novel coronavirus at the request of the worst-affected region Lombardy.
The Caribbean island has sent its “armies of white robes” to disaster sites around the world largely in poor countries since its 1959 revolution. Its doctors were in the front lines in the fight against cholera in Haiti and against ebola in West Africa in the 2010s.
Yet with the 52-strong brigade, this is the first time Cuba has sent an emergency contingent to Italy, one of the world’s richest countries, demonstrating the reach of its medical diplomacy.
This is the sixth medical brigade Cuba has sent in recent days to combat the spread of the…
I sure hope this isn’t the case. If you have been keeping tabs on what has overtaken the world and keeping your eyes on Italy, this will most likely be the American reality within one, the most two weeks.
As a retired physician, I fully understand how Dr. Farrell feels.
(I still remember the first ever patient who died under my care).
“I started caring for coronavirus patients two days ago at Bellevue Hospital in NYC. If any place could tackle a new pandemic, it is Bellevue. The oldest public hospital in the country, it has tackled tuberculosis, the AIDS epidemic, 9/11, Hurricane Sandy and Ebola.
Our most senior clinicians are saying what is obvious to anyone on the front lines right now:
COVID-19 is unprecedented and dire.
My first coronavirus patient was in his 50s, some chronic but not major medical problems, feeling lousy for a few days. Then his oxygen levels started dropping. The fear in his eyes will be forever seared into me. Not long after he was admitted to the hospital, we had to move him to the ICU where he was intubated. I called his family to tell them. They were also coming down with symptoms. They will not be able to visit him.
Only time will tell if they will ever see each other again.
He stood out to me because he was the first. But others just like him have been pouring through our hospital doors at ever increasing rates. I know our hospital leadership is brilliant, innovative and dedicated to the most vulnerable patients in New York. They are rapidly deploying creative solutions.
But time is not on our side.
I feel grateful that I am able to put my training to public service. I don’t do well being cooped up at home. I became a doctor to do this work. But I would be lying if I said I wasn’t scared.
I am calm and committed, but also deeply, deeply terrified.
Most people in today’s America don’t know what death looks like. What’s the difference between 10, 100, 1000 deaths? Numbers are so sterile and removed.
Death itself is hidden in hospitals and nursing homes.
As doctors, we know what death looks like. During normal times, when family members fall into our arms over their lost loved ones, it pains us. We try to debrief each death. We spend time with each family. We call chaplains and palliative care doctors. We ask for bereavement services. We help families call funeral homes.
I am bracing myself for a flood of death that I cannot manage. Phone calls to family members who never got to say goodbye. Young people (60 is young in my book, for the record, and this is affecting people much younger than that too) living their lives and then snatched away. Bodies of patients I never got to know because they were one more case of covid and it was too dangerous for me to go to their bedside, hold their hand, and learn about their life.
Never in my life have I experienced anything like this, at all. It feels like what I imagine war to be like. In a very real sense, my life is at risk. I work with doctors and nurses and other providers much older than myself with chronic medical problems whose lives are in real danger as they work tirelessly to save others.
I want to end this missive with something useful and hopeful. Obviously, wash your hands, don’t touch your face, and
STAY HOME FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.
But beyond that …
I return to my guiding principles in medicine and in life: love and justice. We cannot know who amongst us we will lose in the coming months. Even if life itself is not lost, so much of what gives life joy and stability have already been disrupted. My advice is to reach out to those you love, even just to say
“I’m thinking of you.”
This crisis will not harm all people equally. Those already living in poverty, incarcerated, or homeless have limited means to keep themselves safe. Injustice has a way of compounding during epidemics. Use your voice and whatever privilege you have to fight for those who most need help right now. Here in New York, we desperately need housing solutions for our homeless patients. We need folks released from Rikers where coronavirus is already spreading. Poor families need cash help. Other folks can chime in with suggestions for advocacy.
These are tragic times, there’s no doubt about that. But out of tragedy can come opportunities for connection, solidarity, love and justice that we never before imagined.