'We're supposed to be a first-world country'—ER doc exposes what's happening at a NY hospital

The war with COVID-19 has arrived on our soil, and those on the front lines are being sent into battle without enough armor or armaments.

We've spent weeks watching hard-hit nations struggle under overwhelming conditions—countries like Italy, which has more hospital beds and more doctors per capita than the U.S.—having to make heartbreaking decisions about which patients will get ventilators and which patients will die.


The picture of what happens when healthcare systems—even developed, well-managed systems—get hit with more critically ill patients than they have room or equipment for, is stark. And that reality has just begun to play out in the U.S.. Not enough personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep healthcare workers from contracting the virus they're surrounded by in the hospital. Not enough ventilators to meet the swelling demand.

Heroic doctors and nurses on the front line are beginning to give us all a glimpse of what this battle looks like. ER doctor Colleen Smith in Elmhurst, Queens, shared with the New York Times what is happening inside her hospital, where 13 patients died of COVID-19 in one day. The hospital has had to place a refrigerated truck outside to hold the deceased bodies. She says their ER patient load has more than doubled in recent days, and those numbers are likely to increase.

"Leaders in various offices, from the president to the head of Health and Hospitals ,saying things like, 'We're going to be fine. Everything's fine.' And from our perspective, everything is not fine," Dr. Smith told the Times. "I don't have the support that I need, and even just the materials that I need, physically, to take care of my patients."

Another doctor called what's happening in the hospital "apocalyptic." Hearing Dr. Smith detail the overwhelming anxiety and daunting reality at the very beginning of the expected surge in cases should make us all realize the seriousness of what we're facing and understand why flattening the curve is so important.


Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
True

Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

Keep Reading Show less

Of the millions of Americans breathing a sigh of relief with the ushering in of a new president, one man has a particularly personal and professional reason to exhale.

Dr. Anthony Fauci has spent a good portion of his long, respected career preparing for a pandemic, and unfortunately, the worst one in 100 years hit under the worst possible administration. As part of Trump's Coronavirus Task Force, Dr. Fauci did what he could to advise the president and share information with the public, but it's been clear for months that the job was made infinitely more difficult than it should have been by anti-science forces within the administration.

To his credit, Dr. Fauci remained politically neutral through it all this past year, totally in keeping with his consistently non-partisan, apolitical approach to his job. Even when the president badmouthed him, blocked him from testifying before the House, and kept him away from press briefings, Fauci took the high road, always keeping his commentary focused on the virus and refusing to step into the political fray.

But that doesn't mean working under those conditions wasn't occasionally insulting, frequently embarrassing, and endlessly frustrating.

Keep Reading Show less
True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Welcometoterranova and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Welcometoterranova-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.