Denver Health's omicron numbers are dropping. Dr. Anuj Medha is reminded by the scene in "The Blues Brothers", 1980, where Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi climb out of a battered vehicle after a chase by police officers.
All the doors suddenly pop off their hinges and the front wheels of the car fall off. Smoke pours out from the engine.
Mehta, a critical and pulmonary care physician, stated that "And that's what I fear." "I am worried that everything will just fall apart if we stop."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average number of COVID-19-positive patients in hospitals across the United States has fallen to 105,000 over the past three week.
The ebbing of an omicron surge left behind postponed surgery, exhausted staff and uncertainty about whether this is the end of the big wave or if there will be another.
"We want to see that the omicron surge decreases, that there is no new concern emerging, and that we begin to emerge from the other side of it," stated Dr. Chris Beyrer of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
He said, "We've already been proven wrong twice before, with delta and the omicron. This adds to people’s anxiety and uncertainty, and a sense of like "When does it end?"
Another reason to be anxious is that COVID-19 hospitalizations don't seem all that low. They are at the same level as last winter's surge in January 2021.
The omicron surge was a challenge for hospitals, which had already lost many of their staff. Health care workers became sickly in large numbers. Some hospitals had office staff who were responsible for making beds.
Many hospitals are currently in crisis mode as they try to reschedule patients whose hip replacements or even brain surgeries were delayed during the Omicron crisis. This was to make room for nurses and beds to care COVID-19 patients.
Hospitals have seen dramatic drops in virus cases, even in North Dakota, which has been ranked at the top of the list for COVID-19 cases relative the population. Sanford Health, a Dakota-based hospital, said that their hospitals are still full.
Dr. Doug Griffin, vice president and medical officer at Sanford in Fargo (North Dakota), said, "We've been running for a couple of years now, but it is not clear that I feel relief." "Most of the caregivers are caring for other patients. There are still some very, very sick patients who come in for all kinds of reasons.
The number of COVID-19 patients at the Cleveland Clinic's 13 Ohio hospitals has dropped to 280. This is down from the all-time high of approximately 1,200. The delays in surgeries began at the end December and are now back to normal, according to Dr. Raed Dweik of the respiratory institute.
He said that this was the last major surge, and that hospitals will catch up.
"Our hopes have been dashed before." He said, "Oh, this is it. This is the end. "Everytime we say something like that, it kind of laughs at us and comes back with another variant."
Dr. Craig Spencer, a New York City emergency physician, tweeted a week earlier: "Just worked 12 hour in the ER on a Monday and didn’t have a single Covid case." None. It's not over. It's still a lot better than it was just a few weeks back.
Spencer stated Tuesday that he was able to work another shift without COVID during the night hours on Friday and Saturday.
He said, "I am getting an a bit random sample, but it's still a great change compared to one month ago.
Mary Turner, president of the Minnesota Nurses Association, works as a COVID-19-ICU nurse and says that patient numbers are high due to "all the other people who didn’t go to their appointments, or their follow ups, who are coming in with all kinds of other conditions."
Turner stated that if there's any relief it's being allowed to enter a patient's rooms without needing to wear protective gear.
She said, "It's almost like heaven" to just walk in and put on a pair gloves.
The number of COVID-19-positive patients at Michigan's eight-hospital Beaumont Health System fell to 250 Tuesday. This is down from the 851 omicron peak last month.
Dr. Justin Skrzynski is an internal medicine doctor who manages a COVID-19-floor at Beaumont Health's Royal Oak hospital. He said that patient care has returned to 90% and that there are reasons for optimism. He noted that vaccinations and immunity should offer some protection.
He did however note that "I think there should be a lot more awareness about how much a lot a lot have degenerated in terms of health care."
According to him, nurses who have been subjected too much abuse by patients have quit the profession in large numbers. The cost of healthcare has risen.
He said that "right now, there are so many things that we're undertaking to support the health care system financially," noting the billions in federal stimulus money that was provided to hospitals to deal with the pandemic. "Unfortunately, when the dust settles I believe all these things will come due."