‘I’m barely clinging onto work’: Exhausted parents face another wave of school shutdowns (Washington Post)

Washington Post: ‘I’m barely clinging onto work’: Exhausted parents face another wave of school shutdowns. “Latoya Hamilton had just taken a job as a medical assistant when she got notice last week that her daughter’s school was going online temporarily. The single mother asked for time off. When it was denied, she did the only thing she could: quit. A lack of child care had prompted Hamilton to resign once before early in the pandemic, when she left her $26-an-hour job at NYU Langone Health to care for her three school-aged children. But this time is different. She feels more alone, she said, and unsure of how to make do, both logistically and financially. Federal assistance has expired, and she has depleted her savings and maxed out her credit cards.”

The Atlantic: Hospitals Are in Serious Trouble

The Atlantic: Hospitals Are in Serious Trouble. “Here, then, is the most important difference about this surge: It comes on the back of all the prior ones. COVID’s burden is additive. It isn’t reflected just in the number of occupied hospital beds, but also in the faltering resolve and thinning ranks of the people who attend those beds.”

Baltimore Sun: Staffs of Maryland hospitals, stressed and sickened with COVID-19, know ‘cavalry’ isn’t coming

Baltimore Sun: Staffs of Maryland hospitals, stressed and sickened with COVID-19, know ‘cavalry’ isn’t coming. “As COVID-19 hospitalizations climb into uncharted territory, fueled by the highly contagious omicron variant, Maryland’s medical work force is increasingly diminished by illness and exposure, burnout and turnover. Gov. Larry Hogan has responded with pleas for people to get vaccinated and boosted and wear masks to spare the hospitals. The state opened several testing sites near hospitals so people would stop flooding emergency rooms with nonemergencies.”

Pa. nurses after 22 months of COVID-19 and a new surge: ‘It is so defeating’ (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Philadelphia Inquirer: Pa. nurses after 22 months of COVID-19 and a new surge: ‘It is so defeating’. “As the United States enters a third calendar year of the pandemic, and braces to see whether this omicron- and delta-fueled case surge will cause hospitalizations to spike further, we talked to four nurses, who described units full of COVID-19 patients, most of whom are unvaccinated and many of whom are now skewing younger. They described the emotional toll — ‘defeating,’ ‘disheartening,’ ‘frustrating,’ and ‘exhausting.’”

Washington Post: First they ran short of PPE, then ventilators. Now, the shortage is hospital staff.

Washington Post: First they ran short of PPE, then ventilators. Now, the shortage is hospital staff.. “Doctors at this elite institution are confronting the same challenges as their colleagues everywhere: exhaustion, burnout and exasperation at patients who still refuse to mask up and get vaccinated. And that was before the arrival of omicron, the most transmissible variant yet, which is sickening staffers as well as patients and fueling workforce shortages. As a result, health-care systems nationwide are canceling elective procedures, turning away requests to take emergency medical services patients and grappling with workers calling in sick. Multiple states have deployed the National Guard to help support stressed hospitals, often by simply managing administrative tasks such as helping deliver food or cleaning dirty rooms.”

KUT: Medical labs face understaffing and burnout as demand for COVID tests skyrockets in Texas

KUT: Medical labs face understaffing and burnout as demand for COVID tests skyrockets in Texas. “Medical lab workers in Texas are dealing with a surge in COVID-19 tests as cases skyrocket nationwide. COVID testing conducted in a lab, which include PCR tests, is an essential public health tool for slowing the spread of the virus. But experts say this recent onslaught of work for people who run the tests is coming on the heels of years of understaffing and burnout in the profession.”

Washington Post: A respiratory therapist fought on covid’s front lines. The last wave broke him.

Washington Post: A respiratory therapist fought on covid’s front lines. The last wave broke him.. “As the omicron variant threatens to bring a punishing fifth wave this winter, the country faces an unprecedented mental health crisis brought on by the nearly two-year pandemic. Hospitals and health-care facilities are woefully understaffed as capacity peaks once again — and workers, emotionally battered, burned out and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, are leaving the field in droves. Efforts to help them have taken on a new urgency, with Congress expected to pass landmark legislation in coming weeks aimed at reducing and preventing suicide and burnout and addressing the mental health needs of health-care workers.”

Hits ‘keep coming’: Hospitals struggle as COVID beds fill (Washington Post)

Washington Post: Hits ‘keep coming’: Hospitals struggle as COVID beds fill. “Ohio became the latest state to summon the National Guard to help overwhelmed medical facilities. Experts in Nebraska warned that its hospitals soon may need to ration care. Medical officials in Kansas and Missouri are delaying surgeries, turning away transfers and desperately trying to hire traveling nurses, as cases double and triple in an eerie reminder of last year’s holiday season. ‘There is no medical school class that can prepare you for this level of death.’ said Dr. Jacqueline Pflaum-Carlson, an emergency medicine specialist at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit. ‘The hits just keep coming.’”

New York Times: Doctors and Nurses Are ‘Living in a Constant Crisis’ as Covid Fills Hospitals

New York Times: Doctors and Nurses Are ‘Living in a Constant Crisis’ as Covid Fills Hospitals. “The highly contagious Omicron variant arrives in the United States at a moment when there is little capacity left in hospitals, especially in the Midwest and Northeast, where case rates are the highest, and where many health care workers are still contending with the Delta variant. Some researchers are hopeful that Omicron may cause less severe disease than Delta, but health officials still worry that the new variant could send a medical system already under pressure to the breaking point.”

Inside these walls: An ICU doctor describes the enormity of challenges faced amid pandemic (The Daily Times)

The Daily Times: Inside these walls: An ICU doctor describes the enormity of challenges faced amid pandemic. “There has been an exodus of healthcare workers from our hospital. Like everywhere, we are sad, exhausted, disenchanted, angry, and burned-out. Many are seeking new professions, retiring, or are lured by travel wages and crisis pay. The healthcare sector has lost nearly half a million workers since 2020 and as many as 66% of critical care nurses have considered leaving the profession entirely. Paradoxically, the number of patients has grown significantly and they are sicker than ever. For those of us who remain, our arms and legs shake under the heavy weight of a healthcare system in duress.”

CNN: ‘I’m hanging by a thread’

CNN: ‘I’m hanging by a thread’. “The deadly shooting last month at a high school in Oxford, Michigan, is yet another reminder of the many stresses facing America’s educators, who are still struggling with the overwhelming challenges of teaching in a pandemic. Another surge in coronavirus infections — and the looming specter of a return to virtual or hybrid learning — is only adding to teachers’ anxiety.”

New York Times: Schools Are Closing Classrooms on Fridays. Parents Are Furious.

New York Times: Schools Are Closing Classrooms on Fridays. Parents Are Furious.. “School districts cited various reasons for the temporary closings, from a rise in Covid-19 cases to a need to thoroughly sanitize classrooms. But for many schools, the remote learning days — an option that did not exist before the pandemic — are a last-ditch effort to keep teachers from resigning. They are burned out, educators said, after a year of trying to help students through learning loss, and working overtime to make up for labor shortages.”

The Atlantic: Why Health-Care Workers Are Quitting In Droves

The Atlantic: Why Health-Care Workers Are Quitting In Droves. “Since COVID-19 first pummeled the U.S., Americans have been told to flatten the curve lest hospitals be overwhelmed. But hospitals have been overwhelmed. The nation has avoided the most apocalyptic scenarios, such as ventilators running out by the thousands, but it’s still sleepwalked into repeated surges that have overrun the capacity of many hospitals, killed more than 762,000 people, and traumatized countless health-care workers. ‘It’s like it takes a piece of you every time you walk in,’ says Ashley Harlow, a Virginia-based nurse practitioner who left her ICU after watching her grandmother Nellie die there in December. She and others have gotten through the surges on adrenaline and camaraderie, only to realize, once the ICUs are empty, that so too are they.”

‘Emotionally, physically, mentally tired’: Nurses say morale has hit a pandemic low (Washington Post)

Washington Post: ‘Emotionally, physically, mentally tired’: Nurses say morale has hit a pandemic low. “In interviews, nurses across the country describe plummeting morale during the latest pandemic surge, marked by utter exhaustion and growing workloads. Some thought the availability of coronavirus vaccines would alleviate the burden on hospitals. Instead, emergency rooms were swamped this summer and early fall, often filled with the young and unvaccinated. The crisis has exacerbated staffing problems that existed before the pandemic, leaving nurses shouldering increasing responsibilities as covid-19 patients fill their units. Some nurses are leaving hospital jobs for more lucrative travel nursing positions. Others are leaving the profession altogether.”