Fascinating email from TPM Reader JO, whose personal bio is tailor-made for TPM:
I’m a critical care nurse working in a COVID ICU. I’ve practiced nursing in a variety of settings, from helping to run an Ebola Treatment Unit in Liberia to coordinating mass vaccination campaigns during the H1N1 pandemic. I’m also a former political professional who really appreciates your insight and analysis.
One thing that I feel is really missing from the public discussion about COVID is the surprisingly high rates of (likely) permanent disability among those who become critically ill.
As a non-expert I’ve struggled over the last week or so to make sense of the status of the pandemic in the United States, but overnight a top expert laid things out in as clear a way as I’ve seen in a while. You probably know Jeremy Konyndyk as a disaster preparedness expert who served in the Obama administration and has since become a prominent voice on the U.S. COVID-19 response.
His rundown of why things aren’t getting dramatically worse but also aren’t getting any better helps pull together the various contributing factors to the brutal daily death toll at which we seem to have plateaued. By his own admission, it is not an optimistic assessment.
You may have heard talk of eventually redeploying the resources mobilized to fight the pandemic to tackle carbon emissions. It’s not a misplaced sentiment exactly, though I do think the parallels are generally inapt. But then TPM Reader FL wrote in a few days ago and framed it up in a way that felt more on point than other discussions I’ve seen. I yield the floor:
It would be imprecise to say COVID-19 hit NYC overnight. It was a slowly building menace, spreading though the community. But as these new numbers from FDNY show, the gathering threat hit the fire department like a tsunami at the beginning of the fourth week of March. The fire department was suddenly flooded with cases involving deaths at home or on the streets. Take a look.
It’s just unbelievable what medical practices across the country are going through as an indirect result of the pandemic. The upheaval is extraordinary. Again, this isn’t to treat COVID per se, but to maintain existing health services despite the virus. Tierney Sneed explains.
I grew up in the oil patch, so this email from TPM Reader DB resonated:
I wanted to write in with a different perspective than the one I’m seeing take hold among progressives. I work in oil and gas (yes; yes; I know. I’m sorry) and, as such, I interact with conservatives all the time. It’s interesting watching the conservative id coalesce as it does.
By now a significant number of us have experienced the self-imposed hardship and uncertainty of being sick but unsure if it’s the rona. TPM Reader DS writes in from Seattle:
Hi Josh. I was just reading your piece about testing, and thought to contribute a personal anecdote about what widespread testing would mean for people and families with relatively mild cases.