HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – There’s been no shortage of criticism as events and actives continue to be canceled.
But medical experts say large gatherings can allow COVID-19 to overwhelm the public health system.
“I felt like I needed to make a video just to share some education,” said Dr. William Horgan, Physician at Backus Hospital.
Medical experts are pushing back against criticism that government officials are overreacting to the COVID-19 outbreak. Officials have faced criticism for canceling or postponing events that draw large crowds.
Emergency Physician William Horgan posted a Facebook video saying the decisions are based on science, not hysteria.
“They feel this is being politically driven or that it’s being driven by the media and I just want to put those misconceptions to rest,” Horgan said.
St. Francis Hospital Dr. Danyel Ibrahim says the best chance to limit the spread of COVID-19 is to get out in front of it.
“If we do this right, we will be able to one is fight back and two is derail the virus,” Ibrahim said.
The idea is to do what medical experts refer to as flattening out the curve. So, in a normal pandemic, if people don’t take action, the number of cases can peak very quickly.
The problem is the health care system only has so much capacity. Many hospitals operate near or at capacity, so while they have some capacity, essentially, they can only handle so many cases.
If people take action now, they can actually help spread out the case load, keeping it to something the healthcare system can handle.
“I think the goal of these public health intervention is to prevent the downstream consequences that are going to stress our system,” said Dr. David Banach, Infectious Disease Doctor at UConn Health Center.
The biggest area of concern is the equipment health providers need, including ventilators and safety equipment for employees. The American Hospital Association has asked Congress for $1 billion in emergency funds.
“There are some element of protection there that we just don’t have with this particular COVID-19 strain,” Banach said.
As doctors develop strategies, they say the best thing to do is avoid large crowds.