Letter to the Editor

Hospitals across the state tell the story

For all those deniers out there who think that the coronavirus is nothing but a bad flu, I suggest a certain field trip that might serve as a reality check. I suggest that you visit all the hospitals that you can in Southern California, the county as well as private hospitals, large as well as small, and see for yourself what is happening...shortages of space and medical personnel, patients waiting in ambulances for 8 hours in order to get a bed, hallways stacked with beds of people waiting to be seen by overworked doctors and nurses, many of whom are working outside their specialties, shortages of PPE, medical personnel who have to wear the same one-day mask for a week, nurses and doctors breaking down in tears as a result of watching their patients die, dying patients unable to see any loved ones at the end because of fear of contagion, people with cancer and painful conditions having their surgeries postponed because of the need of COVID beds, and even soon if not already, the terrible decision that doctors may have to make in prioritizing urgency...the sure loss of patients who could be saved if the hospitals were not in dire straits.

Don’t stop at the Orange County line, visit Los Angeles and San Bernardino also, or even Ventura County and the Bay Area. Everywhere you go, you will pretty much find the same circumstances; it is just a matter of time. 

Unfortunately, it seems that some people lack the ability to empathize, and some of those people only learn to do so when they or a loved one experience the harsh reality of a situation, even if the situation is not directly related.

It doesn’t seem to be a function of intelligence either. I have seen it in my own family coming from people who are normally kind and considerate. The reality of the pandemic just seems to be beyond some people’s comprehension level. 

The key to it all is empathy. If only we could develop a vaccine for that.

Lynn Lorenz

Newport Beach