COVID-19, Omicron on Fire Everywhere With No Real End in Sight

JANUARY 16: The Pope John XXIII Covid-19 vaccine site is open for residents. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

Confusion Reigns as More and More Become Sick

By Josh Resnek

The United States is reporting more than 800,000 new cases a day of COVID and Omicron. That’s right, 800,000 as day.

That’s about 6 million a week or 24 million in a month.

Every one of us know someone who is sick or diagnosed as having the virus.

Not as many are dying or becoming violently ill, but hospitals from Everett to Los Angeles have been filling up with the sick.

What’s worse, so many on hospital staffs have become ill and cannot go to work that carrying on is made near to impossible.

In other words, the national health care system is right now weathering its worst time during this lingering pandemic.

Locally, the Cambridge Health Alliance Hospital in Everett is straining at the seams as it tries to balance a huge influx of patients seeking emergency health care at a time when many of its health care employees are out sick.

Much larger hospitals have stopped with elective surgery to take some of the pressure away from health care givers who are maxed out.

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With COVID-19 cases rising, GBL temporarily postpones sporting events

By Lorenzo Recupero

Out of an abundance of caution, the Greater Boston League (GBL) postponed all sporting events for the first week of January, citing a holiday surge in COVID cases.

As testing sites all over the area feel the strain of the holidays, the GBL proactively waived off any competitions as area schools ease their way back into the classroom following vacation.

Joining Everett High School, Chelsea, Medford, Somerville, Revere, Malden, Lynn English and Lynn Classical High Schools will all put a halt to their respective schedules until Tuesday, January 11, at which time competitions will again be authorized to take place, per the GBL. Practices, however, can resume on Saturday, January 8th.

Continue reading With COVID-19 cases rising, GBL temporarily postpones sporting events

COVID, COVID and MORE COVID

DECEMBER 29: The long line for COVID test wrapped all away around Rivergreen Park and the wait was more than three hours. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

A New Massive Wave of Infections Obscures End

By Josh Resnek

It grows more difficult every day to figure out the dangers and the oddities of the COVI- 19 attack on America and the world.

As we began the first week of the New Year, COVID-19 and Omicron cases by the millions have raised serious questions about the economic recovery from the pandemic which appears not only stalled but buried, at least for now.

Infection figures in Massachusetts soared over the top last week and into this week.

Massachusetts reported 135,000 new cases during the last two weeks ending on January 2. On January 3, 21,000 new cases were reported.

Testing is ongoing. More than 100,000 people a day are being tested in Massachusetts. Almost 2,000 patients are hospitalized with COVID-19.

Of that number, 387 are presently patients in Intensive Care Units, with 243 patients on respirators. The Omicron strain of the COVID virus is spreading across the nation like wildfire.

While deaths and hospitalizations remain manageable, it is the economy that is beginning to suffer because of the disruption the sickness brings to the nation’s business life.

All businesses remain in flux because of the upsurge in new cases.

Continue reading COVID, COVID and MORE COVID

COVID-19 Nightmare Refuses to Stop Health Care System Strained to the Edge

Cataldo Ambulance COVID-19 specialist Nicholas McKenzie takes a nasal sample of an area resident. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

Facing Another Winter of Our Discontent

By Josh Resnek

The rapid spread, again, of COVID-19, augmented by the superspreading of Omicron, has caused the Massachusetts National Guard to be deployed to hospitals and ambulance services to help with a staffing shortage that has left the state’s health care system strained amid a extraordinary surge of the COVID virus.

Also, Hospitals with less than 15% of their staffed medical-surgical and intensive care unit bed capacity available must postpone or cancel non-essential, non-urgent scheduled procedures likely to result in inpatient admissions to comply with a new Department of Public Health order issued Monday.

The holiday weekend was marred by thousands of airline flight cancellations at airports around the nation that stranded tens of thousands of travelers.

College and professional sporting teams have been forced to reschedule games, and in some instance, the games were cancelled.

In Greater Boston, dozens of restaurants and some colleges and universities have closed temporarily or returned to on-line instruction for the next several weeks.

Here in Everett, the public schools remain open with a mask mandate in force for teachers and students and all employees of the School Department.

Continue reading COVID-19 Nightmare Refuses to Stop Health Care System Strained to the Edge

COVID-19 figures jumping dramatically

What does the future hold for the city?

By Josh Resnek

With the near doubling of new infections from COVID-19 last week in Massachusetts, state and local health officials are taking a closer look at what the next few months might prove to be like.

Locally, testing continues and vaccinations are ongoing.

Statewide, the same is true.

Some U.S. public schools are moving online for a day a week — sometimes more. Parents are scrambling to find child care, and many worry that their children will fall further behind, the New York Times reported Monday.

The reason? Staff burnout. Teacher and staff shortages.

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.

According to the Times, tensions are high everywhere.

Does this include Everett?

Of course it does.

Continue reading COVID-19 figures jumping dramatically