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Numbers are climbing but it doesn't seem as bad as Italy - desensitised already?

(124 Posts)
BeatrixPottersAlterEgo Tue 14-Apr-20 23:09:34

A few weeks ago, when the deaths in Italy rose over 10k,I was horrified. The stories coming out of Italy were really shocking - bodies lying in homes for days because undertakers couldn't get to them, the army transporting coffins, hospital corridors full of people lying on floors.

Why aren't we seeing the same scenes here? Not that anybody wants to of course - but I have a close relative working on a covid ward, and she says that the hospital is otherwise quiet, and although there have been issues with PPE, so far they're managing the admissions well and aren't maxed out the way they expected - though the atmosphere on the ward is surreal and scary in other ways. Yet we're having just as many deaths as Italy, if not more. Although the government could have done much more earlier, has the fact we've been a few weeks behind given us just enough time to prepare so that similar scenes are being avoided, or are they still to come?

Or are we just desensitised because we had that time of seeing what happened in other countries before it kicked off here? I don't mean to start some sort of row, but i feel as though I saw more going on in both social and mainstream media a few weeks ago, but now it's getting to similar levels here, and it's like "here's the death toll for the dah6, moving swiftly on, please don't sunbathe in parks"

OP’s posts: |
dandymottahs Tue 14-Apr-20 23:10:53

The media isn't scaremongering as much as they did when it was in other countries?

justanotherneighinparadise Tue 14-Apr-20 23:14:05

This is good news!!!

Karwomannghia Tue 14-Apr-20 23:14:19

I think there was a huge bulk of cases in certain regions which didn’t have the facilities whereas ours is in London and they’ve had time to make room in the hospitals.

Neolara Tue 14-Apr-20 23:14:30

I thought one of the issues in Italy was that the outbreak was centered around small geographical areas so facilities in these towns were completely overwhelmed. It maybe that in the UK, patients are more spread out so it's easier to cope with.

0v9c99f9g9d939d9f9g9h8h Tue 14-Apr-20 23:18:01

I think we knew it was coming.

BeatrixPottersAlterEgo Tue 14-Apr-20 23:18:52

Just read my post back and I don't mean it to sound like I'm secretly disappointed that we don't have all the shocking footage pouring out or anything! I'm glad obviously, though still worried sick every day about my relative and other extremely vulnerable family members. But I was especially terrified of how overwhelming it all seemed and how they just weren't equipped to deal with the numbers of both ill and dead. Though of course it was more concentrated, wasn't it?

OP’s posts: |
RogueV Tue 14-Apr-20 23:28:51

I know what you mean.
In our trust we have quite a few covid patients however the hospital is calm and we are coping.
We have PPE and staff are trained to use it.
We haven’t hit the no space for patients stage yet... and I’m hoping we won’t!

Is this the curve ‘flattening’?

Wheresthebiffer2 Tue 14-Apr-20 23:32:51

It's because the tv reports are giving us a "positive spin". It's the way they present the information, how they edit the footage.

4forkssake Tue 14-Apr-20 23:36:23

I think it's a mix of what others have said (concentrated areas initially in Italy) & the fact we were lucky enough to be given an insight into what we faced. So hospitals were rejigged to be able to cope better with the enormity of the situation. I think if this hadn't been done (ie increased beds etc), we might've been in a much worse position. Let's just hope that what you mentioned in your op continues & we don't need all the extra facilities 🤞

DianaT1969 Tue 14-Apr-20 23:36:46

The Nightingale hospitals might be making a difference.

B1rdbra1n Tue 14-Apr-20 23:38:16

Because we saw what was coming down the tracks

User721 Tue 14-Apr-20 23:39:43

The Nightingale hospitals have hardly been used.

EmMac7 Tue 14-Apr-20 23:39:54

I think it’s because our cases are more geographically dispersed.

Also, I understand many of our older citizens are being triaged by consultants and not put onto ventilation, which increases the death toll but reduces the visible strain on resources.

FourDecades Tue 14-Apr-20 23:43:33

Our hospitals had time to prepare. So where l work, all elective surgery stopped a month before we got cases so we could empty the wards of patients. Renovation works were done in theatre so it's now an overflow ITU.

Deal was made with nearby private hospital so cancer surgery went there.

Infection prevention started doing mass Fit testing of masks.

Training sessions were being held continuously so clinically rusty nurses could relearn their skills.

B1rdbra1n Tue 14-Apr-20 23:52:01

Not put onto ventilation
not a medic so can't speak with any authority but I'm starting to get the impression that in a lot of cases ventilation just prolongs the agony?

planningaheadtoday Wed 15-Apr-20 00:07:37

In Italy it kicked off quietly, spreading silently in the northern ski resorts.

These regions were overwhelmed resulting in much of the overloading of hospitals in those areas.

In the UK many of the infected flew back from the ski resorts but flew back to places spread throughout the UK.
Our infection spread across the country, so not putting as much uneven pressure on the system in general. Although I think now parts of London and the midlands are struggling,

This might account for the high numbers, but in a system that is holding.

We also had those precious few weeks to get our act together as we knew what was ahead.

Justajot Wed 15-Apr-20 00:20:29

I don't think that people really understand the numbers - 1000 deaths can seem like a relatively small number in 65 million people. I didn't understand until I looked up the number of deaths per day on equivalent days in prior years. The number of deaths per day is running about 50% higher than normal. I didn't understand why they were building temporary morgue as surely 1000s of people die each week normally.

I think we are beginning to see more context being added and hopefully that will improve understanding.

Titsywoo Wed 15-Apr-20 00:26:44

From what a friend of mine who works as sn anaesthetist in the nhs has said, the reason the nightingale is barely being used it because they told the other hospitals that for each patient they sent over they'd have to send the staff to look after them so it just ended up being easier to find more room in the hospital. They assumed they'd staff the nightingale separately but it seems not.

LockdownLucy Wed 15-Apr-20 00:31:42

I have a theory that people were just switching off from doom and gloom once it was close to home and no clicks means no money so our media whilst by no means Trump-esque have taken a more measured approach with positives amongst the scary stuff in a way they didn't bother about when it wasn't our problem.

Carrotcakeforbreakfast Wed 15-Apr-20 00:54:02

I thought this
I've been very vocal on here about how much I was legitimately shitting myself about going to work.
And I still am. ( I'm frontline NHS )

My trust is a massive trust and we are full of covid. In fact we believe to be fully "hot" by the weekend meaning all patients are covid.
At the moment we have pockets of normality.

However, at the moment at least we seem to be coping. The local nightingale hasn't been utilised yet and while we have a lot of covid patients we are all coping.
I think there is an element of us just re-adjusting. 6 weeks ago the sight of someone wearing hazmat would have terrified me. Now it is the norm.
I am extremely proud of my team at the moment. I'm still worried we are going to get it and there are many reports of NHS staff dying.
Our mortuary is full but we seem to be operating organised chaos very well thus far.

Flaxmeadow Wed 15-Apr-20 01:03:29

A few weeks ago, when the deaths in Italy rose over 10k,I was horrified. The stories coming out of Italy were really shocking - bodies lying in homes for days because undertakers couldn't get to them, the army transporting coffins, hospital corridors full of people lying on floors.

Why aren't we seeing the same scenes here

There might be bodies lying in homes for days. Either because services are stretched in some areas or because sadly no one has realised that some people have died at home. The latter happens more than people think, even before the crisis.

The army might be transporting coffins in some areas. Its just that no one has noticed or filmed it

I don't recall people lying on hospital floors in Italy. Do you mean in Wuhan back in January/February? When it was filmed i
some hospitals there

We are about 2 weeks behind Italy and so we are just coming into the stage you're asking about.

I also think it depends which area you live in. If you live in London, the West Midlands, urban Yorkshire or Greater Manchester you might be noticing things people in other parts of the country wouldn't being aware of. I've noticed, or am aware of some things, but it wouldn't seem right to mention it somehow. Not because it's a cover up or anything like that or that things are out of control but it's just more that you start to understand that excess deaths are happening. I also agree with the other explanations above

BiarritzCrackers Wed 15-Apr-20 01:24:16

The people on hospital floors, because they'd run out of capacity, was in Spain - I'd remembered it as Italy too.

I guess with Italy there was that initial shock at how big this actually was; we've had a few weeks to adjust the grim inevitability of the mortality levels we have come to see here (although today's events confirm we don't know that half of it).

OPTIMUMMY Wed 15-Apr-20 01:25:16

Well we’ve topped Italy for number of deaths in a day from it, but I think it depends on where you live how bad it is- I suspect London is at least a week or two ahead of where I live. We did have more time mentally to prepare but I think our media is sparing us from a lot of the horror. I also think that there are a lot of people in care homes who aren’t getting into hospitals for ventilation and who are dying of covid but because they weren’t hospital deaths they weren’t being counted. Perhaps that might account for some of the differences with Italy in that the elderly tend to live with their families more than in care homes? Or maybe because the shielding started early enough then that might be helping to keep ICU beds free? Or maybe we have a lot more of this to come actually and we’re just not at the peak- the issue being that people don’t get well fast - so as cases continue then ICU fills up?

pisspants Wed 15-Apr-20 01:27:33

I agree that our cases are spread throughout the country, but I also don't think we have hit peak yet. I think things will be really clear within the next week or so especially tomorrow when we get the first set of figures regarding deaths etc which won't be affected by the bank holiday.

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