The Corner

Health Care

Signs of the Times in New York

The hospital ship USNS Comfort, which is only taking non-COVID patients, hasn’t taken many patients, in part, because there just aren’t that many non-COVID patients to send:

Across the city, hospitals are overrun. Patients have died in hallways before they could even be hooked up to one of the few available ventilators in New York. Doctors and nurses, who have had to use the same protective gear again and again, are getting sick. So many people are dying that the city is running low on body bags.


At the same time, there is not a high volume of noncoronavirus patients. Because most New Yorkers have isolated themselves in their homes, there are fewer injuries from car accidents, gun shots and construction accidents that would require an emergency room visit. Ultimately, Mr. Dowling [the head of a New York hospital system] and others said, if the Comfort refuses to take Covid patients, there are few patients to send. And given the pernicious spread of the disease in New York City, where nearly 50,000 were infected as of Thursday, dividing patients into those who have it and those who do not is pointless, he said.

There is new guidance against taking people who have had heart attacks and can’t be revived in the field to emergency rooms.


Funeral homes are getting overwhelmed.


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