New Orleans Mayor La Toya Cantrell said on Tuesday that over half of the city’s medical emergency services personnel are under quarantine as the coronavirus continues to be one of the sneakiest pathogens on record.
Like all of America, the mayor is waiting for lawmakers in Washington D.C. to stop their haggling so funds can be released to deal with some of the problems hard-hit cities and states are experiencing.
Cantrell told Erin Burnett on CNN, “We’re looking for that declaration to be approved so that it can unlock the much-needed resources that our first responders need on the ground. For example, my EMS department, over 50% of my people are now on quarantine. And so, while we’ve unlocked additional resources at the state level, the state can no longer go on without federal assistance at this time.”
The sneaky aspect of the coronavirus that leads to the disease named COVID-19 is that people infected can spread the pathogen before they experience any symptoms. Only now are experts beginning to recognize early onset symptoms that include digestive problems and the loss of the sense of taste and smell.
What has likely exasperated the situation in New Orleans was the annual Mardi Gras celebration where there were probably many infected people with no symptoms literally dancing in the street. The climax of the celebration is called “Fat Tuesday” and this year it fell on Feb. 25, exactly two weeks before the number of new cases began to ramp up in the U.S..
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the incubation period can be as quick as 2 days, but the average has been about 10 to 14 days.
Because medical service workers and EMS staff are put into situations where “social distancing” is ignored they are more at risk. This only adds to the “perfect storm” of unknowing carriers, a swift, highly infectious organism and politicians causing delays looking to advance an agenda on the apron strings of a multi-trillion-dollar stimulus package.
Louisiana Gov. John Bell Edwards said on Tuesday that New Orleans hospitalizations are expected to exceed their capacity in 11 days and added, “It is still impossible to know exactly how long the COVID-19 pandemic will impact Louisiana, but what we do know is that we have more cases per capita than every state, except for New York and Washington.” On Sunday, he issued a stay-at-home order to slow the rapid rise of cases.
According to Worldometers, an online statistics and counter tracking service, there are 1,342 active cases and 46 deaths in Louisiana, with 26 deaths in New Orleans.
Those who observe the 40-day period of Lent following Fat Tuesday will have an easy choice in 2020 for their sacrifice. Everyone is hoping that COVID-19 will subside by the end of Lent in the Christian liturgical year.