A friend’s son developed a low fever last week, a stiff neck, and some other cold/flu-type symptoms. He is a strapping college-age lad. She arranged a doctor’s appointment for him last Friday. The clinic was empty and he was met outside by a nurse who put a mask on him. He was diagnosed with “maybe a virus, possibly meningitis”. Due to his temperature being only 99, he was not given one of the scarce coronavirus tests, but he did have a range of other tests. On Saturday, the family got the test results: maybe meningitis, maybe leukemia(!). This will take some sorting out, apparently.
I’m posting this because I think it explains the mask shortage. Before the coronaplague, only the doctors and the occasional flu patient had to wear a mask. Now a mask gets used (and thrown out) every time a patient comes into the health care system for any reason.
- memo from New York hospital: The hospital “normally uses 4,000 non-N-95 masks a day. Currently [they are] consuming 40,000 such masks per day, which is estimated to reach 70,000 per day,” Smith writes.