Hospitalizations have dropped for eleven days in a row in Connecticut, and for the first time there was a decent drop in deaths that should continue as the deaths usually lag hospitalizations by one to two weeks.
Normally I work on Sunday, but since I went part time a month or so ago, I have to sign up for shifts. I was working my old shift until it was awarded to someone new and now that person is in it, I have to go for the openings and there was nothing today, not even any last minute books offs. Lost to the public is that fact that in the midst of this great pandemic, EMS and ED volumes are way down. That doesn’t mean I’m not busy when I work, it just means there are fewer cars on the road and fewer open shifts to bid for.
The weather has been spectacular this weekend. We hit softballs yesterday, played some basketball in the yard and went for a bike ride. My daughter also went to a birthday party. We met seven other kids of my daughter’s age and their parents in the parking lot of a CVS. The kids, all wearing surgical masks, were so excited to see each other even if they had to stand at six feet of distance. Then we all got into our cars and drove to the birthday girl’s house. Some of the cars had happy birthday signs on them and streamers. Many of the parents had SUVs with sunroofs. Their daughters stood up through the roofs and held their happy birthday signs as their parents honked their car horns and drove slowly by the birthday girl’s house. The birthday girl ran from car to car saying thank you and catching her presents, all while maintaining six feet of distance.
No pin the tail on the donkey. No pinatas. No bounce house. No trampoline park. No ice cream and cake. But a birthday party parade. And lots of smiles.
It was a good day for them. I talked some with the parents in the CVS lot beforehand and everyone was ready for this to all be over. I am a misanthrope and am largely content to spend time away from others, but kids need to get out.
The parents all talked about how much the girls missed their sports teams. Most of these girls were on the basketball team that was in the state 6th grade Catholic girls semi-finals with a good shot to win it all when they got shut down. Now they would be playing softball or soccer instead of being cooped up at home.
When you start to imagine sports again you have to weigh that against hard reality.
A friend of mine lost both his parents to COVID in a matter of days. An acquaintance of mine (Known COVID positive) had to be driven to the hospital today unable to breathe. States that have been talking about relaxing their restrictions are already experiencing leaps in their case numbers as if COVID is standing out in the street in front of their houses, saying are you sure you want to tangle with me?
I am outside now dribbling a basketball. It is a gorgeous day. 70 degrees, blue sky, birds chirping, a light breeze only. If I had worked today, I would likely be fully gowned up now, my face mask fogging up, my N95 mask making divots in my face, my gown falling off my shoulders, COVID charging at me riding on my patient’s cough, trying to find a weak point in my PPE, but not today. Today I am out here draining three pointers. Playing in a COVID-Free Zone.