LOS ANGELES — For Dr. Anita Sircar, an infectious disease specialist, there are no breaks and few days off. An implacable surge of Covid-19 cases has overwhelmed Southern California hospitals and intensive care units for most of December after public health officials warned for weeks that people should refrain from gathering with those outside their households over the holidays. Yet millions of Americans desperate to reconnect with loved ones and restore a sense of normalcy ignored the warnings on Thanksgiving. As a result, coronavirus cases spiked, and ICU capacity dwindled. “It’s relentless,” Sircar said, speaking on the phone between patient rounds and doctor meetings at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center in Torrance. State public health officials recently extended modified stay-at-home orders for the regions hardest hit by the surge, including Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley, where ICUs have been full for several weeks. Hospitals have built makeshift ICUs, and they sometimes move patients into gift shops or pediatric wards to care for the sick and dying. At Providence, a tent has been erected in the parking lot to accommodate overflow patients when the time comes. And the time will come, said several medical professionals working on… Read full this story
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