Nurses, doctors and thousands of medical workers inside California hospitals are already struggling through intense days — and intense emotions — as the wave of expected COVID-19 patients turns from a distant shadow to a roaring peril.
Gov. Gavin Newsom says more than 140,000 people in the state might need a hospital bed by the end of May, with about 26,000 requiring a high level of care — a scenario that predicts nearly two months until a peak. As of Friday, California had more than 12,000 positive cases of the novel coronavirus, with nearly 2,200 people hospitalized and 900 in intensive care.
So far, even as Los Angeles becomes a hot spot for the highly infectious pathogen, the number of serious coronavirus patients at most facilities in Southern California has been in the dozens. It’s a lull leaving ominously empty wards and frayed nerves.
“It’s like a pressure cooker,” said a nurse at UCLA. “Long on fear and short of gear.”
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