BY ALYSSA KHAN
The effects of the coronavirus are global, causing catastrophic consequences throughout the world. It’s bad enough that the pandemic is continuously spreading, but the fact that healthcare workers aren’t able to be properly taken care of and protected makes it worse. This is because of the high demand and way that people are panic-buying supplies right now.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is what healthcare workers use to protect not only themselves, but also their patients from being infected.
At the start of the pandemic, supplies weren’t at the high demand at which they are now. As COVID-19 began to increasingly spread, people started panicking and stocking up on supplies such as medical masks, gloves, gowns, goggles and even aprons. This widespread panic has left healthcare workers with a shortage of equipment that is necessary for them to safely continue to do their jobs.
According to Time magazine, “Facilities of all kinds reported that most of their supplies would run out within a week or two, if they had any left at all.” This affects the doctors, nurses, patients and anyone in general working at a hospital.
“If the people taking care of us are not being properly taken care of, we’re not going to get anywhere when it comes to getting rid of this virus.”Junior Lani Bond
Doctors are having to use non-fitting surgical masks rather than respirators, which are more preferable and would be safer. Even worse, masks are being bought out as the demand is growing. Doctors won’t be able to do their job if they don’t have the proper equipment to do so.
Prices for all the necessary supplies have surged, especially prices of masks and respirators. Hand sanitizers are almost impossible to come by at a local store, and even prices for those have increased drastically. In fact, some stores like Office Depot are even charging $4.30 for this product, instead of the usual price around $2.00. It’s a smart way to increase their profit, but it’s not very helpful for those trying to be protected and in desperate need of hand sanitizer.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has shipped almost half a million sets of personal protective equipment to 47 countries, yet amounts of supplies continue to deplete.
“I think it’s really important that healthcare workers get the supplies they need,” junior Lani Bond said. “If the people taking care of us are not being properly taken care of, we’re not going to get anywhere when it comes to getting rid of this virus.”
Not only are healthcare workers facing these problems, but everyday people are as well. People have been resorting to making their own masks because nothing is available. It’s not known how protective these homemade masks are, but people have to do it because there’s no other option.
“Healthcare workers need the proper equipment because they’re risking their lives to keep protecting us.”Junior Christopher Berry
“Healthcare workers need the proper equipment because they’re risking their lives to keep protecting us,” junior Christopher Berry said. “We also need more supplies for ourselves because we can’t stay safe if we don’t have the supplies to do so.”
The hoarding of supplies is unnecessary and leaves the people who really need it struggling. With hopes of getting back to business as usual, everyone has to do their part. Healthcare workers need to continue working hard while staying safe, while everyone else has to continue practicing social distancing.
Photo courtesy of Insider