Your COVID19 Turning Points #5

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May 5, 2020 8:25 a.m.

TPM Reader WC (not his real initials) is an emergency room doctor on the West Coast. His turning point is different from many of our who haven’t been on the front lines of the epidemic.

Like many of you listeners, I too saw the closure of schools and the cancellation of the NCAA championship/NBA season as big turning points. The other turning point for me was the day I walked into our ER at a large trauma center and it was totally empty, which is unheard of.

As you know, ERs across the nation have been relatively empty during the time of Covid, as people stay away. It’s been surreal. Sure, less driving means fewer accidents, and we all know that a lot of ER cases aren’t really emergencies. But what happened to all the heart attacks and strokes? (Of course, many of them stayed home and died, contributing to the excess mortality we are all talking about.) But for me, the first time I saw an empty ER was a moment I will not soon forget.

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