Will nurses, doctors & staff stick it out at hospitals after COVID?


Once the pandemic’s over, will nurses, doctors and staff leave hospitals in a mass exodus?

On the one hand, some of them surely have made more money during the course of COVID-19. Maybe that will make them decide to stay put. For others, the satisfaction of getting such an important job done despite so many obstacles will carry them through well into the future.

Still, all those extra hours and the stress of having such a high percentage of patients die — not to mention worrying about getting sick themselves — surely could translate into some or even many deciding to leave. Probably a percentage would look for work in clinics or other medical settings, while some would leave medicine altogether.

This definitely will be something to watch closely.

Meanwhile, the rest of us would do well to take time to consider all the incredibly hard and stressful work these nurses, doctors and staff have done.

We’ll never be able to repay them, but some words of thanks sure would be a start.

A while back, I predicted that humanity couldn’t get unified enough against climate change until it would be too late.

But I think there’s hope for us yet.

I’m basing that on the idea that if the sea level rises fast enough — before too much damage is done to push us past the point of no return — that could be the trigger for big change everywhere.

Just about everyone all across the globe loves to go to the beach. And a lot of big cities are located on the ocean, since that’s how people traveled the globe before airplanes.

If ocean levels go up, beaches Americans have come to love, from Ocean City, the Outer Banks and Myrtle Beach, to Huntington Beach and Panama City, could go under water, along with lots of expensive homes and plenty of businesses. And that would be true elsewhere in the world, in places like Bora Bora, Fiji, Maldives, Tahiti and Maui.

Meanwhile, eight of the world’s 10 largest cities are located on coasts: Tokyo, Mumbai, New York, Shanghai, Lagos, Los Angeles, Calcutta and Buenos Aires. And that’s just a fraction of the communities that are located on seashores.

Rising sea levels deluging these cities and beaches — something we all could see with our own eyes that would be incredibly out of the ordinary — would push most to finally trust the science on climate change. And it also would spur rapid change from governments all around the world.

During the pandemic, we’ve compared the number of dead, as it has risen, to other tragic losses of life in history. That included the recent comparison that this pandemic now had killed more U.S. citizens than during the flu outbreak of 1918, or the monthly West Virginia total to a coal mining disaster.

These comparisons haven’t seemed to hit home. Why not?

Many who haven’t been touched by the virus can’t or don’t want to grasp the idea of what’s happening. And during the pandemic, many of the dead have been the elderly who were in nursing homes or, limited by arthritis, COPD or other afflictions, already were living mostly apart from society.

Consider the War on Terror for a minute. Most Americans haven’t lost a loved one in this longest of all wars our country fought. And they didn’t give much, if any, thought during their day-to-day living.

That was less true in Vietnam and Korea, because the casualty lists per month were exponentially higher.

And in World War II, everyone shared in the sacrifice. Lots of young GIs were killed every week, from every corner of the country. About 1 out of every 10 Americans was serving in the war. And those on the home front dealt with rationing and blackouts. Industry was shifted to supply the military. And many of those who weren’t serving were working in those factories making bullets, bombs, tanks and planes.

The pandemic won’t become such a reality to all Americans unless it gets to the point where young people and children are getting sick and dying at a rapid pace. Let’s hope it never gets to that.

Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin believes the transfer portal will end up making schools like Alabama just about unbeatable.

At Alabama, for example, Coach Nick Saban has mastered recruiting, and he’s also figured out how to attract the best assistant coaches to fit what he wants his program to be.

The fact that he pretty routinely loses players early to the NFL, and assistant coaches to head coaching opportunities elsewhere, haven’t slowed him down one bit.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens when Saban no longer is coaching. That may level the playing field in college football as much or more than any playoff expansion or advertising opportunities for players. Or there may be another Saban or two rising up.


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