Published On: Tue, Mar 31st, 2020

Desperation, Final Farewells, Massive Medical Shortages, Mercilessness

NEW YORK (TURKISH JOURNAL) – By Jan Ellen – The coronavirus pandemic has brought out the worst and the best in people.

Two of the worst: One is refusing to allow Holland America Cruise Ship the Zaandam which has hundreds of British, Americans and Australians on holiday to dock in Florida. The cruise ship has eight cases of COVID-19, four people dead and 200 ill with flu-like symptoms. The President of Holland America Line has called for ports to show “compassion and grace” by allowing passengers on the Zaandam and its sister ship, the Rotterdam, to dock. What’s incredibly merciless is the attitude of Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis who said passengers can’t be “dumped” in Florida, dismissing most on board as “foreigners.”

Two is the massive shortage of crucial medical supplies in American hospitals. A case in point is the governor of Illinois who told CNN that he requested 300,000 N95 masks and instead received surgical masks.  A number of other governors have come forward to warn about major medical equipment shortages and dire conditions in U.S. health facilities.  CNN has shown video of the inside of several hospitals in New York City and interviewed emergency physicians who are reporting heartbreaking conditions on a daily basis. The doctors are reporting mass shortages of protective masks, ventilators and other necessary equipment to deal with the pandemic.

Meanwhile, desperation has forced doctors in Spain to create a new type of protective mask devised from a diving mask that gives 100 percent facial protection to medical personnel. While desperation has driven innovation, desperation has also become the norm when doctors and medical personnel are forced to ration ventilators and decide which patient takes priority because there aren’t enough ventilators to go around. Desperation is a multitude of medical personnel worldwide, falling ill with the virus due to a lack of proper personal protective equipment (PPE) and this is not just in America – this shortage is global.

Merciless is a virus that takes people and children of any age. In New Zealand, 26 percent of coronavirus cases are people in their twenties. CNN reported on Tuesday that a twelve-year-old girl in Belgium succumbed to the virus. In the U.S., people of every age are contracting the virus and one young man from his hospital bed spoke to CNN, barely able to catch his breath. Families are not even allowed to be in the presence of their dying loved ones due to the contagion rate of the virus.

Devastating is the word that comes to mind amidst the chaos of the coronavirus pandemic.

During times like these despite the devastation, there are also stories of courage and stories of companies volunteering to make the necessary medical equipment for the hospitals. One example is governors who are going above and beyond to protect their states and to be thoroughly transparent. Two of the most courageous are New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer who both spoke transparently and bluntly about the lack of federal government response for their states at the outset.  As CNN reported on Tuesday, the Global Head of Supply Chain SmileDirectClub, Dan Baker said his company has begun making masks and face shields to assist hospitals in the pandemic. As Baker said: “We’re not looking to make a profit from this, we just want to help.”Despite the sheer stress and multitude of heartbreaking moments, medical personnel say they are incredibly touched by the public outpouring of gratitude, appreciation and blessings they continually receive on a daily basis.  So are the families of patients – as one daughter who just lost her 71-year-old mother, a retired nurse, said she was deeply touched by the ICU nurse who was there for her mother in her last moments before death, holding her cell phone up to her face so she 

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