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The COVID-19 Outbreak Has Devastated Idaho’s Hospitals

Every bed at St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center’s critical care units is filled, each one a flashing jungle of tubes, cables, and mechanical breathing machines. The patients crammed within are very similar: All were unvaccinated, mainly in their twenties or thirties, dependent on life support, and engaged in a quiet battle against the virus COVID-19.

A guy in his 30s has a tanned forearm that is covered with tattoos that are artistically etched. As a nurse changes the posture of an expecting woman, her somewhat enlarged stomach is momentarily exposed for a short moment. The young lady is five months pregnant and has been hooked up to a breathing machine for the whole time.

The COVID-19 Outbreak Has Devastated Idaho’s Hospitals

Another pregnant lady, just 24 years old and on a ventilator, is lying prone on top of her growing baby in order to get more oxygen into her damaged lungs down the hall. This week, Idaho had a COVID-19 triple whammy, setting records for the number of emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and intensive care unit patients.

Medical experts predict that by the middle of September, the state’s highly conservative population will have contracted 30,000 new illnesses each week.

The COVID-19 Outbreak Has Devastated Idaho's Hospitals

Idaho health providers are becoming desperate as a result of a severe shortage of hospital beds and staff, as well as one of the nation’s lowest vaccination rates. As a result, they are preparing to follow crisis quality of care, which calls for allocating scarce resources to patients who are most likely to survive.

It was the Associated Press who was allowed inside St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center’s restricted intensive care units this week in the hope that exposing the grim truth would inspire individuals to alter their behavior.

The intensive care units (ICUs) are where Kristen Connelly and her colleagues meet on a regular basis to flip over each patient, taking care not to disconnect the tangle of wires and cables that keep them alive. Turning a patient is a hazardous but essential effort that occurs twice a day, with breathing tubes, feeding tubes, and half a dozen dangling bags of medicines meant to stop a cascade of organ damage in place.

Connelly was unfazed when Idaho’s hospitals were almost inundated with coronavirus victims last winter, thinking that she could make a difference if she worked hard enough. She is now caring for several patients at the same time, rather than concentrating on one at a time. A large number of colleagues have resigned, having been exhausted by the constant demands of the epidemic.

Connelly’s own life is in a state of emergency as she struggles to hold on to her final reserves of strength and vitality. She doesn’t eat at home anymore and has stopped participating in any activities other than walking her dog. A boiling fury that she can’t seem to shake has cast a shadow over her, usually a profound sense of compassion, which Connelly believes to be essential workability.

Dr. Bill Dittrich said that all of the coronavirus patients in the intensive care unit were otherwise healthy individuals who simply did not get vaccinated. Idaho may implement crisis care guidelines in a matter of days, leaving him with the heartbreaking task of deciding who will get life-saving treatment.

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