Thanks to stay-at-home orders, NC hospitals are equipped for next COVID-19 wave

NC restrictions accomplished a goal

I’m an ER nurse and aware daily of how our work environment has changed due to COVID-19. The governor’s stay-at-home order was specifically issued to “reduce the burden on the state’s healthcare facilities.”

According to N.C. DHHS website data, that has been accomplished. As of May 1, 6,325 of the state’s 18,565 hospital beds were available. So were 789 of 3,233 ICU beds and 745 of 3,204 ventilators.

DHHS data trends show there has not been a time during this first wave of COVID-19 when N.C. hospital resources have even come close to being overwhelmed. Politics aside, the stay-at-home order accomplished its stated goal.

No matter the date selected to loosen restrictions, there will be multiple waves of increased infection due to increased gathering. Our hospitals have handled the first wave successfully and have the capacity to handle the next.

Robert Powers, West Jefferson

Robert Powers
Robert Powers

Cooper overplayed his hand on virus

A tiger doesn’t change his stripes. Look no further than Gov. Roy Cooper to see that. When he was N.C. attorney general, he cherry-picked the laws he wanted to enforce, focusing on those that furthered his agenda or career. His policies and actions with COVID-19 have followed suit, matching those of governors around the country who have overplayed their hands in their quest for power.

Floyd Prophet, Kannapolis

Some protesters comments cut deep

Some comments I’ve heard from people at ReOpen rallies cut deep for those of us at high risk. It sounds like protesters are saying the only people in grave danger are the expendables – retirees, the chronically ill.

It reminds me of something I heard on TV years ago: a breaking news bulletin saying a commercial flight had crashed, killing all passengers. They were relieved to report “no one important” was on board.

Everyone I have lost to death was important to me and remains important to me to this day. This talk of the elderly moving aside to make way for the future enrages me, as the TV comment did. If this is the future you want, God help your soul.

Charles LaBorde, Charlotte

Charlotte needs neighborhood clinics

The writer is an advanced practice nurse.

Crisis can bring opportunity. During this pandemic, let us design a better health care system that provides preventive care, not just sick care.

Why not create neighborhood clinics to offer preventive care in vacant retail spaces around Charlotte? They could employ furloughed or laid off health care workers. If patients could go there for routine checks, such as blood pressure, temperature, oxygen, and mental health care, they could stay out of the ER.

The need is great. During this pandemic, children aren’t getting routine vaccinations because parents have canceled well visits. Public health experts worry diseases such as measles and chickenpox will reappear.

Atrium Health and Novant Health have billions in unrestricted assets. In late March, they proposed a field hospital to treat COVID-19 patients. Now that the plan has been scaled back; why not shift that collaborative effort to preventive care?

Karen DuBose, Charlotte

Hosting RNC isn’t worth the risks

We may think this will be over by August, but the Republican National Convention is already ramping up. Advance teams have been scouting Charlotte for months. In a few weeks construction crews will descend on the Spectrum Center to build stages, dressing rooms, studios for TV commentators. Electricians will come to wire up the technology to make it work. Coincidentally, this will be about the time some projections say hospitals may need to requisition the convention center to accommodate our peak infections.

Then, the crowds will come. Maybe it’ll be 30,000; maybe 10,000. Either way, they won’t be able to get around and eat and sleep without rubbing elbows. All this to anoint a predetermined candidate and hash out policy that’s not going to change.

William C. Barnes, Charlotte

I’m sorry to see Toppman retire

Regarding “Charlotte Observer arts critic Lawrence Toppman retires,” (April 28):

Even though I did not always agree with Lawrence Toppman’s reviews of concerts, movies and theatrical performances, they were always a good read; informative, well thought-out and witty. He would often give the readers some social or historical context. If I would read his review before attending the concert/show, I would have a better idea of what to expect. His insights will be missed by many readers.

Elias Roochvarg, Charlotte