Every single patient regrets not getting the vaccine. I don’t have one that doesn’t. They look really sick, and they look really young. You can see somebody now talking to you, and the next time you see them, they’re dead. — Dr. David De La Zerda, I.C.U. at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami
Every single patient regrets not getting the vaccine. I don’t have one that doesn’t. They look really sick, and they look really young. You can see somebody now talking to you, and the next time you see them, they’re dead. — Dr. David De La Zerda, I.C.U. at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami
American Hospitals Buckle Under Delta, With I.C.U.s Filling Up
The summer surge in coronavirus cases in the United States, led by the domination of the more contagious Delta variant, is well into its second month, and the number of those hospitalized with Covid-19 has reached heights last seen during the overwhelming winter wave.

The number of those patients who are critically ill, requiring treatment in an intensive care unit, has risen, too. Data from the Department of Health and Human Services shows that the number of hospitals with very full I.C.U.s doubled in recent weeks. Now, one in five I.C.U.s have reached or exceeded 95 percent of beds occupied, a level experts say makes it difficult or impossible for health professionals to maintain standards of care for the very sick.

... Dr. David De La Zerda, who has spent more than a year treating patients in the I.C.U. at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, thought early this summer that a drop in cases meant the crisis phase of the pandemic was near its end. That feeling lasted just four weeks. According to federal data, there were over 300 patients hospitalized with Covid in the Jackson Memorial Hospital system in the week ending August 12, up from around 70 at the beginning of July.

For health care providers like Dr. De La Zerda, the rise in cases feels like dΓ©jΓ  vu — but the emergence of vaccines is worsening the blow.

“This virus is becoming a more preventable disease than before, when this was all new, because now we know that there’s something that we can do,” he said, referring to vaccines, which are highly effective at preventing severe illness and death from Covid-19. “There’s this sense of a lack of concern, but we all know this isn’t true because we’re working in the hospitals.”

... The patients Dr. De La Zerda sees are younger, he said — many under 40. And because these patients are not on mechanical ventilators, and instead on high-flow oxygen systems that allow them to speak, he often talks to them.

“Every single patient regrets not getting the vaccine,” he said. “I don’t have one that doesn’t. They look really sick, and they look really young. You can see somebody now talking to you, and the next time you see them, they’re dead.”
Read the full article: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/08/17/us/covid-delta-hospitalizations.html