Saturday, April 25th, 2020

Waste Generated by Virus

Waste generated in the bid to save thousands of lives could well cost millions of other lives lost.

If the Corona Virus is teaching those of us who love the sea and everything that sails upon it anything, then we are learning some home truths.  Not all of them are palatable.

Who knew, until this happened, how full of waste medical practitioners were when it came to looking after our health.

The overuse of and reliance on, single use PPE is disgraceful.  

Why on earth cannot PPE be made so that it can be cleaned and reused.  Why is so much plastic being used just once and thrown away.  Why cannot aprons be made of material that can be boiled and made sterile.  Why can visors not be made so that they can be wiped down with disinfectant and reused.

What is the point of protecting people when polluting our oceans leads to so much; waste, poverty disease and death?

Of course we need to protect our doctors and nurses and everyone else in the front line of patient care but if all we are doing is killing our planet what is the point?

Scandalous

The waste is scandalous and its not in the flagrant misuse of plastics and polymers.  There is an equal if not greater misuse of sailors time and inappropriate uses of assets.

Take the case of the US Navy hospital ships It appears that having spent millions of dollars preparing the hospital ship USNS Comfort and moveing her to New York to help ease the burden providing treatment for non-COVID-19 patients, the US Navy Hospital ship is expected to leave New York shortly in order to return to her base in Virginia having treated just 179 patients.

That’s right a complex field hospital that costs millions of dollars a day to run treating up 1,000 patients has treated just 179 since she arrived in New York on March 30th

the New York Times reported that On top of its strict rules preventing people infected with the virus from coming on board, the Navy is also refusing to treat a host of other conditions. Guidelines disseminated to hospitals included a list of 49 medical conditions that would exclude a patient from admittance to the ship.

Ambulances cannot take patients directly to the Comfort; they must first deliver patients to a city hospital for a lengthy evaluation — including a test for the virus — and then pick them up again for transport to the ship.

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