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Author: TriSec    Date: 03/17/2020 10:40:12

The military isn't immune, either.

The US Navy is reporting their first case aboard-ship. It's not spontaneous, this comes after a family visit.

A sailor from the amphibious assault ship Boxer is believed to have tested positive for the new coronavirus disease just nine days after military family members visited the ship at sea.

This marks the first coronavirus, or COVID-19, case for a sailor who was aboard a Navy ship. The person is now quarantined at home, Navy officials said in a Sunday night news release. The sailor's test result for the sometimes-fatal virus is considered presumptive positive, pending confirmation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This will likely be a new challenge for the sea service, since infections and viruses can spread quickly among crew members who live in close quarters. That has been the case for several civilian cruise liners, which has resulted in widespread cancellations for the industry.

We're not that far removed from the last "national crisis", and some of us may remember the sight of the USNS Comfort steaming into New York Harbor some days after the World Trade Center attacks. That's not going to work this time.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants the Army Corps of Engineers to build overflow hospitals. Bernie Sanders wants to call up the National Guard. Joe Biden says "call out the military — now."

But the military isn't a cure-all, and there are significant legal and practical limits to what the armed forces can do during the coronavirus crisis.
The Navy’s two medical ships, the USNS Mercy and the USNS Comfort, can handle large-scale medical emergencies. Both contain 12 fully-equipped operating rooms, 1,000 hospital beds, digital radiological services, a medical laboratory, a pharmacy, an optometry lab, a CAT-scan and other capabilities, according to the Navy.

But that only helps in areas near the water.

"If for example a community has a large outbreak and there's a need for emergency room support or trauma support, a hospital ship is perfectly designed to do that,” Friedrichs said. "It’s hard to get the hospital ship to St. Louis, but along the coasts it is an option to use."

Another problem is that these vessels are not conducive to containing infectious disease outbreaks.

“You have litters that are stacked toward the ceiling with individuals, you have open bay rooms — they are intended for trauma not for infectious disease environment,” Hoffman said, adding that “there are some beds for that, but at much smaller numbers.”

The story is actually quite extensive - do take the time to read it all today.

Consider as well, the very high-risk population that is in and out of V.A. Medical centers all around the country. They are reporting the first death; and hospitals nationwide are restricting access.

The Department of Veterans Affairs lost its first patient to the COVID-19 coronavirus on Saturday, a 70-year-old veteran who also was Oregon’s first fatality from the new disease.

The Multnomah County man was hospitalized at the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He had underlying health conditions and tested positive for the virus March 10, Oregon Health Authority officials said in a release Saturday.

The veteran had no known contact with a sick individual or history of travel to a country with widespread activity of the virus that has now affected nearly 133,000 worldwide and killed 4,955.

With cases in the U.S. reaching nearly 2,000 as of last Friday, many VA medical centers moved Monday to restrict all visitors.

From Maine to Michigan to Minnesota to Colorado, hospitals are notifying patients that they can bring a friend or caregiver to necessary appointments but other visitors will only be allowed by approval of hospital leadership.

“As a result of the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) outbreak in the U.S., beginning at 5:00 p.m. on March 16, 2020, visitors will no longer be allowed access to the medical center,” noted officials at the Memphis VA Medical Center in Tennessee. “This action is being taken as a precautionary measure considering the increased vulnerability of certain patient populations receiving care at the facility.”

And not related to veterans at all, but locally - it's the End of the World. If you've never heard of L.L. Bean, you may be vaguely familiar with their Freeport, Maine "Flagship Store", the one that famously doesn't even have locks on the doors because they never close?

They're closed. For only the fifth time in history.

FREEPORT — L.L.Bean has announced it is temporarily closing its retail stores beginning Monday night.

The stores will be closed by midnight and remain so until March 29.

This will be the fifth time L.L.Bean has closed its flagship store in Freeport. It is the first time the flagship will be closed for more than 24 hours, according to an L.L.Bean statement.

Company officials said L.L.Bean plans to continue pay and benefits for all year-round employees affected by the retail closure.

The company will continue to take online and telephone orders while implementing social distancing measures for its warehouse workers.


5 comments (Latest Comment: 03/17/2020 17:55:43 by livingonli)
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Comment by BobR on 03/17/2020 13:21:57
It doesn't seem right to force our military to risk their lives against an enemy they cannot fight because our health insurance system is not a health care system.

Comment by wickedpam on 03/17/2020 13:43:36

Comment by wickedpam on 03/17/2020 14:02:16
Movie Rec for those stuck at home -

Train to Busan

Comment by TriSec on 03/17/2020 15:54:06
Your mileage may vary, but Johnson & Wales has essentially just cancelled the rest of the semester.

Academics are still on-line, but all culinary labs are cancelled until further notice. Dorms are closing - all students need to be out by Friday.

I want a refund for this semester.

Comment by livingonli on 03/17/2020 17:55:43
China has now banned journalists from the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal.