The hard truth: ‘The community is giving it to each other’Posted on Aug 25, 2021 in Capitol Connection, Featured, Main
- This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated – More than 90% of residents hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated, say state officials. But there have also been reports of breakthrough cases, increasing the risk that vaccinated people can also spread the virus. It’s vital to get tested and take other safety measures if you have symptoms.
- The Delta variant is different – “It used to be if you were fully vaccinated, you could do just about anything,” said Dr. Char. “But the Delta variant being so pervasive, the fight has changed. When someone is infected, they have about one-thousand times as much virus in them than those who had the original-type COVID. Even if you’re fully vaccinated, if you’re sitting next to somebody with COVID, having lunch or having a drink, you’re being bombarded with the virus, and you have a very real chance that it could overwhelm your system and you could become infected.”
- Even the vaccine has its limits – “The vaccine helps prevent severe illness and death, but we don’t have the armor we once thought we had, so we need to be thoughtful about our actions,” said Dr. Char. That includes wearing masks, avoiding crowds, physical distancing, frequent hand washing and staying home when we’re sick.
“Younger, sicker, quicker” – That’s how some health care workers are describing what they’re seeing in recent Delta variant patients. Governor Ige said, “Our hospitals are filling up. They’re treating younger and younger people. Yesterday, we reported the death of a man in his 30s.” On the neighbor islands, Mike Rembis, CEO of Maui Health, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, “There’s an alarming number of people in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s being admitted.” Also, the state’s biggest spike in new cases has been among young people with lower vaccination rates.
- Hospitals are overwhelmed and healthcare workers are exhausted – Elena Cabatu, director of public relations at Hilo Medical Center, spoke for many in the healthcare system when she told the Star- Advertiser: “We are pleading with the community that has not yet gotten vaccinated to get vaccinated. . . . What we are asking is the community to just know they are giving it to each other; it’s no longer someone else’s problem,” she said. “Lots of people are blaming the tourists, but at this point it’s all community spread.” To watch Governor Ige’s and Dr. Char’s news conference, go to https://www.facebook.com/GovernorDavidIge/videos/813017562716288.