Shortage of hospital supplies and masks as coronavirus swamps the health care system

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Being the epicenter of the COVID-19 breakout in the U.S., New York hospitals have gone rampant trying to control the flood of incoming patients as their hospital supplies keep dwindling. Many hospitals, including Elmhurst hospital, which currently has the highest number of coronavirus patients, have reported a lack of hospital supplies and full hospital rooms. On Friday, March 27, Mayor Bill de Blasio predicted Sunday, April 5 to be the day when New York hospitals start running out of critical medical resources necessary to combat the virus. Many Harristies attribute this to countless New Yorkers hoarding and buying protective equipment in bulk and preventing medical workers who actually need it from getting. 

Sophomore Ashlee Tolentino commented that this “is really sad and unacceptable because health officials are risking their lives everyday for the safety and health treatment of the public but some people are taking advantage of this increase in product demand and they purposely buy a lot of products in order to increase their retail price and sell them to those who are in desperate need of these products.” 

“People are going overboard by hoarding everything,” agreed sophomore Monica Yang. “Some people need the materials more than others so I think we should at least leave some for the ones in need… It is not right for us to put the doctors in danger by taking their supplies and use it for ourselves when it is not necessary.” 

On a similar note, senior Serena Shibu said, “Freaking out in a situation like this is definitely causing more problems for those that also need these resources. Excessive hoarding is not necessary… and stuff like that aren’t helping the sudden shortage of hand sanitizer like… y’all really need to chill.” 

This excessive hoarding has already taken a toll on New York medical workers, as sophomore Dorothy Joy Delacruz notes, “I have seen on news channels, nurses wearing garbage bags as gowns and reusing masks just to protect themselves from the virus. Dr. Oz even commented once that if we would never send soldiers into the front lines with garbage bags, why should nurses be?”

On a positive note, some hospitals in NYC including the New York Presbyterian Hospital have begun accepting donations of medical masks from local suppliers as well as using homemade masks from volunteers. Hopefully, with more hospital supplies and equipment necessary, New York will be able to combat this pandemic before it gets worse. 

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