Tales from CHA Everett Highlights Strained Resources and Hospital Woes


By Josh Resnek

When you need an emergency room in Everett, you head to the Cambridge Health Alliance Hospital on the hill. The former Whidden Hospital has been treating record numbers of patients, which reached a new high last week, according to a report on WBUR.

Although the holiday week is usually quiet, this year patients crowded the facility’s emergency room and on a recent afternoon, there were at least 30 patients crowded into a seating area designed for half that number.

What is happening here is the state of affairs all over the state in emergency rooms.

According to public health officials, emergency rooms are close to a breaking point as COVID cases are rising and people seek medical care they can’t find anywhere else.

In the Everett ER there are already long waits for health care services, “ hospital officials say.

“I am very worried that we are going to miss someone or something catastrophic,” said Dr. Melisa Lai-Becker, who runs the CHA Everett emergency department.

“If you’re having a hard time breathing or having chest pain, you must, must, must come to the emergency department,” Lai-Becker said. “If you think you just need to get tested for COVID, please call your doctor, go to a testing center or go to urgent care,” she said.

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Soaring COVID-19, Omicron Cases Straining Health Care System

DECEMBER 29: A Cataldo Ambulance employee works with a man seeking a Covid test at Rivergreen Park. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

Economy Being Drastically Challenged

By Josh Resnek

COVID-19 and Omicron cases have exploded throughout the nation and here in Massachusetts, the figures are rivaling and even surpassing those of the COVID-19 pandemic when it was it height two years ago.

Greater and more compelling questions are rising as the population’s patience is being tested by a virus that is not diminishing, this, despite the national and international effort to bring it under control.

Many leading epidemiologists are now questioning publicly if what our society is doing to meet the challenge of the pandemic is the best way to go about erasing it or at least in bringing it under control.

The uptick in cases has not yet been moved by the expected swarm of cases that have been gestating among the population since the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

No one seems to know the way while at the same time, anti-vaxer voices and the voices of those who claim COVID-19 is just a cold and we should get on with our lives are gaining numbers with each passing day.

This is against a backdrop of more than 800,000 deaths and a continuing strain placed upon the nation’s nearly broken health care system as a result of COVID-19, and now Omicron.

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Virus anxiety takes new leap with Omicron scare and rapid rise in COVID-19 cases

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DECEMBER: Covid-19 lines are starting to stretch as people get tested for holiday travel and with the rise of the multiple variants. The Cataldo testing site at Rivergreen (above) is busy. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

By Josh Resnek

Christmas season this year is being made all the harder, again.

The COVID-19 has returned, and it appears, with a vengeance.

At the same time, the new world COVID strain called Omicron is doubling and tripling with every second that passes wherever it is gaining a foothold.

There is presently no vaccine for Omicron, which some epidemiologists believe is going to spread so far and wide so fast that we might all well develop it at some point during the next several months.

The dramatic rise in COVID cases is causing alarm in health care facilities and among health care providers all over the land.

The Omicron epidemic is exacerbating that concern, causing many people to grow anxious not only about the Christmas holiday that is upon us, but of the short term future and what it might hold.

The national mood seemed to shift dramatically in the span of a few days with COVID ticking upward and Omicron spreading out in the population.

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Covid cases jumping nationally and locally with no real end in sight

Cataldo Ambulance personal are still hard at work helping to collect Coronavirus swabs at Rivergreen Park. (Photo by Josh Resnek)

By Josh Resnek

Unbelievably enough, from November 22 to December 5, Massachusetts reported thousands of new cases of COVID-19.

The numbers of new cases has risen dramatically during the past few months.

The seven day average of new cases for the above period was 2,856 new cases.

To date, Massachusetts has recorded 19,849 deaths from COVID-19. Middlesex County leads the pack with 3,998 deaths and 175,000 cases.

Almost 1 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Massachusetts since the pandemic began.

Nationwide, 54,000 people are hospitalized with COVID-19.

Almost 14,000 are in intensive care units.

Between November 22 and December 5 Massachusetts logged 45,111 new cases.

The seven day national average of new cases is at 121,377, according to statistics compiled by the New York Times.

As of the beginning of December, 86.5%of the residents of Massachusetts had received at least one shot of vaccine.

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COVID expands, hospitals fill nationwide

SEPTEMBER 4: Renato Trombini of Know the Facts, Get the Vax program with a flier. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

Everett at about %70 vaccinated, school masks requirements in force

By JOSH RESNEK

If you listen to Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karen Polito talk about it, the virus can and has been contained in Massachusetts because the population here is not at odds about being vaccinated and to wear masks and to social distance.

“Our figures are a reflection of the high standards we keep in the state of Massachusetts. Massachusetts residents don’t have to be sold on the advantage of paying attention to science over superstition,” Polito told the Leader Herald.

Here in Everett, about 70% of the residents have been vaccinated against the COVID-19, according to Massachusetts Department of Health officials.

This is good but not good enough.

With 30% of the Everett population not vaccinated, a lot of room is left for the COVID-19 virus to find a home and to hang around, and to grow.

If enough spreader-type events take place among those largely unvaccinated, Massachusetts will suffer the consequences as a result.

Continue reading COVID expands, hospitals fill nationwide