There’s this miasma in the hospital…this thought that there’s something impending and coming, but not knowing exactly when it’ll show up.
After seeing scenes from Italy and then Spain and then New York – and even in Montreal now to a lesser extent – we’re expecting that it’s going to be coming to Toronto, but we don’t know exactly what it’s going to be like. It’s unclear when we are going to sort of abandon ship on what we regularly do and go all hands on deck for critical care support of COVID patients.
We see it in the hospital too. There are people walking around the hospital who are doing things that are different than what you typically see. In our unit, they were taking a look at the endoscopic post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) to see if ventilators could be fitted inside there. Beside my office, there is a hallway that leads to the new tower where potentially there could be installation of critical care facilities – there are people walking by with plans and stuff, which was sort of unexpected. There are emails going around with things like tiers of escalation. Nothing’s really been invoked yet, but there’s that constant fear that everyone is preparing for something—but that something hasn’t happened yet.
I’m on service for gastroenterology tomorrow [Monday]. Ordinarily, coming in after a weekend, there would be a list of patients who need procedures to be done and a list of consults for gastrointestinal bleeding. Those patients aren’t in the hospital anymore, they’re at home somewhere.
We’re not seeing the same volume of patients that we would normally see, and if it’s only the sickest of the bunch, we may be missing people as a consequence.