I've interviewed a lot of health-care workers over the last two years, at various points of the pandemic.

Here's something you should bear in mind as you read these stories (and their first-hand accounts) about what they're experiencing. 1/

I've often found that health-care workers are at their rawest and most emotionally vulnerable in the lulls, when hospitals are quieter (tho not quiet) and they can exhale and process. That's when people have just broken down on the phone. Or quit. 2/
By contrast, during the actual surges, they're more likely to be in adrenaline mode. They're just trying to get through it, to put aside the trauma so they can do their jobs. They have armor on, and if you listen, you really can hear it in their answers and their voices. 3/
I say all of this to note that, right now, if health-care workers are telling you that the situation is bad, you should probably assume that, if anything, they are underplaying it. 4/


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More from @edyong209

14 Jan
It's real!

This cover is for the UK edition, out Jun 22.

The US edition is out Jul 12 w/ a different cover; I'll show you that one in a couple of days, and say more about what this book's about and why I hope you'll enjoy it.
And yes, that is Typo (my corgi) on the cover.
And here's the US cover!

I love how both covers capture, in very different but complementary ways, the promise of the book--a chance to look at nature in a different and newly wondrous way. Image
Read 4 tweets
12 Jan
🚨I wrote about the debate about whether people are being hospitalized "for COVID" or just "with COVID".

Many supposedly 'incidental' infections are being misleadingly described & minimized.

And whatever the case, hospitals are in serious trouble 1/

Yes, some COVID hospitalizations really are incidental--someone breaks a limb and only finds out they have COVID when tested.

These exist, but the docs & nurses I've spoken to all say they're uncommon. 2/

Far more common are folks w/ chronic illnesses--heart problems, diabetes, etc.--that are being seriously exacerbated by COVID. Said illness might be listed as reason for admission, but the admission wouldn't have happened if they hadn't been infected. 3/

Read 9 tweets
7 Jan
🚨I wrote about what this surge is doing to the healthcare system.
It's bad.
Though less severe, Omicron is spreading quickly enough to inundate hospitals, which can't handle the strain cos so many healthcare workers had quit or are now sick. 1/
The most important thing about this surge: It comes *after all the others*, & finds a workforce that’s exhausted, demoralized, & smaller because of waves of resignations.
Today’s system can’t handle what it used to handle. It must now handle a LOT. 2/ theatlantic.com/health/archive…
COVID hospitalizations rose 40k to 65k in the 7 weeks before Christmas, and then to 110k in the 2 wks since.
The CDC is forecasting 25-54k extra patients *per day* by end-Jan.
That's... not good. 3/ theatlantic.com/health/archive…
Read 16 tweets
23 Dec 21
I'm going to log off and try and take a break.

This piece lays out the stakes for the next few weeks.

And here's one last thread reflecting on my experience of covering the pandemic's second year. 1/

I think the pandemic traps us (people broadly, and journalists specifically) in the present moment, always reacting (too late) to the current surge or lull. But to really understand how we got here and how to get out, we need to grapple with the past, both recent and distant. 2/
So I wrote about the ways in which trauma lingers, even when some semblance of safety is reached... 3/
Read 17 tweets
17 Dec 21
I turn 40 today. I was planning to have a party but I canceled it last week because of Omicron.

I wrote about why I made that call, and how I thought about the risks—to myself, to my friends, and to our society. 1/

This piece isn't a lecture or advice column. It's just me walking through my thoughts as I try to apply the lessons learned from my reporting to my own life.

I know many people are struggling with decisions about gatherings so maybe this might help. 2/

(Just had to jinx it, didn't you, kiddo?)

Read 6 tweets
16 Dec 21
🚨Well, I wrote about Omicron--what we know & what it means.

I feel the core problem is unchanged: The variant poses a much greater threat at the societal level than the individual one, making it the kind of problem the US has consistently flubbed. 1/
First, a clarification. It's v. easy to ascribe everything to the new variant but even if Omicron hadn’t emerged, we’d still looking at a bad winter.

Hospitalizations are rising. 1000+ deaths /day. That’s Delta. What’ll Omicron do *on top of that*? 2/
This piece analyzes that question at 2 scales—individual and societal. Individually, things are... not great but also not catastrophic. Societally, I am sad to say it’s bleaker.

I won’t tweet the whole piece, but here are some key points. 3/
Read 11 tweets

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