The new corona virus doesn't just kill by storming the lungs and other organs. It also kills by sieging health systems.
If the virus spins unchecked in a community for a few weeks, it can trigger a tsunami of cases that break into emergency clinics, emergency rooms, and intensive care units and quickly wash out beds, supplies, and staff.
In such a crisis, doctors have to make heartbreaking decisions about which patients get the last beds and which scarce ventilators and respiratory therapists. At the same time, they are likely to face a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and clothes. Rationing and reusing such items causes more nurses and doctors to get sick. That means fewer healthcare workers have to wade through the flood of patients. Some may even need critical care with their patients.
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