What happens when a state fails to flatten the COVID curve

She thought of the abuse she’d received from one man’s angry family members, who had berated her for not treating him with ivermectin, a deworming drug falsely promoted as a cure in conspiracy circles but that the FDA has warned against using in COVID patients. She thought of how police had had to remove the man’s family after his son-in-law told her, “If you don’t do this, I have a lot of ways to get people to do something, and they’re all sitting in my gun safe at home.”…

Idaho is what a state looks like when it fails to flatten the curve. As in other Mountain States, beds are running out. In response to the crush of patients, which is not expected to slow anytime soon, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (DHW) last week activated crisis standards of care. When implemented by hospitals, these plans, first formulated in April 2020 with the hope they would rarely need to be used, help guide overwhelmed medical workers on how to ration scarce resources.

The crisis standards apply to all patients — not just those with COVID-19. “There are already many patients who’ve had to delay surgery or other treatments, and if you end up in a hospital, you may receive treatment in a waiting room or a hallway,” said DHW Director Dave Jeppesen. “Each nurse and doctor will be taking care of more patients than usual. You may have to wait much longer than normal for care. You may even have to be transferred to a care facility that could be hours away.”