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Editorial: Is Eurobodalla ready for COVID-19 ? Are you ready?

Is Eurobodalla ready for COVID-19 ? Are you ready? Some cold hard facts: Below is an image of Spain’s latest emergency overflow hospital in Madrid that has patients already arriving because the Madrid hospitals are full.

Eurobodalla doesn't have an auditorium that size. What we have is the Hanging Rock Basket Ball Court, the Moruya Basketball court and the Narooma Leisure centre and a few council halls. Most of us became familiar with these facilities during the bushfires. Most of us have memories of the failures and inadequacies of these facilities. Fortunately the worst we suffered was having Moruya and Narooma come down with gastro. In terms of Emergency Evacuation Centres that even begun to meet guidelines and standards ours FAILED. The fire events in early January 2020 saw up to nine and half thousand people register through the three evacuation centres including people evacuating from Bermagui. They were scared but they were NOT desperately ill or contagious. In Council's submission to the NSW Bushfire Inquiry they write "It is important to remember that the arrangements in place are intended to keep people safe and to manage the expectations of the community in the difficult circumstances prevailing at that time. This was perhaps best summed up by the Manager of the Moruya Evacuation Centre when addressing the many hundreds of people at a briefing where it was highlighted that ‘this is a life boat situation – we are not on a cruise ship’." If the Hanging Rock Sports Stadium, the Moruya Basketball court and the Narooma Leisure Centre are called into play to meet any Covid-19 victim overload then we will be faced with a "lifeboat" more like a sieve that provides little more than four walls and a roof.

Intensive care units: ABC reports Last winter, Australia suffered a vicious flu season that killed 812 Australians.

A bad flu season can land around 2,500 of us in ICU.

But if coronavirus infects 20 per cent of Australians as some state health departments are preparing for, about 100 times as many Australians will end up in intensive care.

Australia has just over 2,200 intensive care beds, with almost half of these in NSW.

That's around 8.9 ICU beds per 100,000 people, which is better than New Zealand (5.1 beds) but worse than Italy (12.5), where COVID-19 has overwhelmed hospitals.

COVID-19 patients in ICU will need a bed for around 10 days, according to Imperial College modelling, which is a lot longer than the average time for other causes (just under four days). And those beds can mean the difference between surviving the disease and dying from it. Click here for full ABC report : Coronavirus could flood our hospital ICUs with COVID-19 patients, so do we have enough beds? Below is an image of an Intensive care unit with systems and equipment that might save the life of the patients that need them. This unit has seven beds. In the Eurobodalla we have ZERO ICU beds.

If any of our community are in need of an ICU bed they will need to be evacuated. By ambulance, by helicopter - if either are available. FACT: (SOURCE) The Moruya hospital – is a 55 bed hospital at level 3 role delineation.  It offers the following services:

  • Emergency department

  • Inpatient acute medical care provided by General Practitioners

  • General and gynaecological surgery

  • Sub-acute - inpatient rehabilitation and palliative care

  • Maternity (antenatal care, birthing and post-natal care)

  • Hospital in The Home

  • An outreach renal dialysis satellite service as a formal network from Canberra

  • Pathology

  • X-ray, ultrasound and CT

Batemans Bay hospital is a 31 bed hospital at level 2 role delineation.  It offers the following services:

  • Emergency department

  • Inpatient acute medical provided by General Practitioners

  • Day only surgery – cataract surgery, minor orthopaedics, minor urology and gastrointestinal endoscopy

  • Subacute – inpatient palliative care and patients waiting for rehabilitation

  • Pathology collection

  • X-ray If our two local hospitals can't meet the demand of beds and evacuations to other hospitals is not an option then we will have to consider alternate local locations such as halls. Just as they have done in China, Italy, Spain, the US, Serbia and Israel

Why is everybody going nuts about 'outsiders' escaping to the South Coast ? Let's look at Spain as a current example. Marie Stacey blogs that Madrid has more than double confirmed cases than the next province. When Madrid was put on lockdown hundreds, maybe even thousands of people, decided to leave Madrid and head to their holiday homes on the Costas, which was a regrettable and uneducated decision. Whilst all these people felt well at the time they left some have now already died since arriving while others unfortunately brought the virus on their travels with them. Sadly it was witnessed that those who came did not go into self isolation but wandered freely, unaware they were infected. And those who should have been in imposed isolation flaunted the rules. This virus would have spread regardless in these coastal communities but the process was unfortunately speeded up. On average an infected person can unknowingly infect 10 other people a day....these 10 people then infect 100 people....these 100 peopl