Romano Law Nurse Corner COVID-19 #35
Acceleration of Cases – A Hopeful Turn
Numbers Still Rising
Sitting down to write this COVID-19 blog, with the numbers of infected people rising once again is frightening and depressing. It has been such a long, exhausting road and we seem to be going further and further down a very dangerous path. This past Saturday, there were 126,742 new cases, the 4th day of daily infection numbers greater than 100,000 and the 3rd day with more than 120,000. That is sick people on a daily basis. Steadily now, we have had over 100,000 people a day coming down with a virus that might kill them. As of Monday morning, the United States has surpassed 10 million total cases of COVID-19. This means that the United States accounts for approximately one fifth of all reported COVID-19 cases worldwide, which is currently a little more than 50.2 million cases and rising as outbreaks are showing up throughout the world. Hospitals are stressed and at max capacity in many places. It is scary.
Just think about what 10 million cases of this deadly disease means to these Americans. Ten million people live in fear with each breath that they take, wondering if this is the one that will be hard or will cause a constant cough. Coughing at all has a certain fear these days. When you then consider their families and loved ones, not being able to be with them and wondering if the last time they were with them is truly the last time. It is just awful to imagine, however, no one is immune. We, RLNC, feel fortunate that we have not had anyone close come down with this virus.
Clearly, the United States has not done a very good job of slowing the spread of this disease. It is out of control. As expected and warned, we have a huge surge of cases and spread of disease as we get progress into winter. Of course, all of the experts remind us that the flu is also an issue to consider, one that takes thousands of lives every year. COVID-19 is a deadly disease. It is not Democratic or Republican and doesn’t much care about who is the president.
The Change is Coming
Yet, for the first time in a long time we feel a breath of hope. President Elect Joe Biden has promised that he will approach the pandemic far differently than the current administration, which includes listening to the scientists and medical experts. In fact, he has stated that dealing “with the coronavirus pandemic is one of the most important battles our administration will face, and I will be informed by science and by experts”.
His goal is to bring the pandemic under control as soon as possible with a national plan and will concentrate on this as his priority. He has already started this process by naming 13 health experts to his Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board which he has said will “shape” his “approach to managing the surge in reported infections; ensuring vaccines are safe, effective, and distributed efficiently, equitably and free; and protecting at risk populations”.
The COVID-19 Advisory Board includes 3 people who have served in senior public health positions. Dr. Rick Bright criticized the federal government’s response to the pandemic and was fired from his position as head of the government prominent research agency, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development (BARDA) was appointed to this team. Also appointed, Luciana Borio, a biodefense and disease specialist who has worked for the National Security Council, and Eric Goosby, President Obama’s global AIDS coordinator. The other members are very well vetted science and public health experts.
Below is the full list of task force appointees:
In other Biden transition COVID-19 plans, two health advisors were appointed to guide the incoming administration’s COVID-19 fight but will not serve on the task force; Beth Cameron, former director of a White House biodefense council President Trump closed in 2017 and Rebecca Katz, a well-known global health security professor.
Promising Vaccine Study Results
In other positive news, the latest reports from Pfizer and its collaborator BioNTech on their COVID-19 vaccine candidate say that early findings show that it is 90% effective in preventing the virus. This is based on the first 94 trial participants to come down with COVID-19. Half of the participants received a placebo and half of them received the vaccine, with the data showing more people who received placebo came down with COVID-19. The patients who were protected were given the vaccine in 2 doses, 21 days apart and they were found to be protected a week after getting the second dose. Also noted was that there were not any reports of serious safety concerns reported to the independent monitoring board that reviews safety and effectiveness data. We feel encouraged by these early results and look forward to further vaccine study results.
Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and professor of vaccinology at the Perleman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania is pleasantly surprised and notes that it is not clear whether the vaccine is more effective for certain groups of people than others. For instance, vaccines generally do not work as well in older people, a highly vulnerable group. The study continues and as more results are collected and released, some of this information may show itself. These results are very promising overall.
Most scientists agree there will be more and more cases; this pandemic is proceeding as they predicted it would without a national plan that includes mask wearing and safe social distances as the number one things we can currently do to decrease this spread.
Yes, we are all tired. Some of us are angry and some of us are depressed. There is a range. However, today there is more on the hope side than there has been in a long time. We wear our masks to protect you, because we care about other human beings. Stay safe, stay distanced, wear your mask when in public, it is truly the human thing to do.
Susan Ramsey is both an attorney and an RN. Ms. Ramsey’s professional experience began as a Registered Nurse in the Intensive Care Unit at Yale New Haven Hospital. While pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree, she was a counselor with the New Haven Rape Crisis Program. During her time with the Program, Ms. Ramsey counseled sexual assault survivors and performed seminars for local police departments, universities, and high schools. During her time working as a registered nurse, Ms. Ramsey decided to attend law school. Ms. Ramsey graduated from CUNY Law School, and has practiced law in several different State and Federal Courts. She is a Florida Heath Care Risk Manager and a member of the Palm Beach County Sober Home Task Force. Ms. Ramsey actively litigates cases involving catastrophic injuries and wrongful death on behalf of survivors, cases include injuries suffered by victims of professional negligence, product liability and medical negligence.
Amie Goldberg is both an attorney and a certified APRN. After completing a Bachelor of Arts Degree at Whittier College, Ms. Goldberg attended nursing school at Emory University. Ms. Goldberg’s professional experience started as a Registered Nurse at Egleston Children’s Hospital taking care of children with congenital heart disease. After a few years, she continued working in all areas of the hospital while attending Kennesaw State University on weekends in order to get her Master’s Degree in Nursing with a specialty of Primary Care Nurse Practitioner/Family Nurse Practitioner. During her time as an APRN, Ms. Goldberg decided to attend law school at St. Thomas University in Miami, Florida. Since graduating, she has mainly practiced in the areas of personal injury and worker’s compensation, fighting for the rights of injured people. Since joining the Romano Law Group, Ms. Goldberg has been the Director of the Opioid Litigation Project. Ms. Goldberg also practices in the area of medical malpractice and nursing home negligence, bringing an inside perspective and knowledge to help get justice for our clients.