Dr Shawn Burns Fears For Severely Disabled Son As Omicron Tide Increases Pressure On Hospitals | Mandurah Courier
Father fears for severely disabled son as hospitals collapse under Omicron push
“A busy hospital and healthcare system wouldn’t be able to meet the 24/7 demands of Mac’s usual care.”
2022-01-11T07: 00: 00 + 08: 00
University professor fears for severely disabled son as rising Omicron cases put pressure on hospitals.
Wollongong University journalism professor Dr Shawn Burns said while the government gives reassurance that the health care system will do well, such “statements of hope” are not aimed at people like its son, Mac.
Mac is a young adult with severe cerebral palsy. As long as he is in good health, he is dependent on others.
New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet said there was “a lot of pressure”, that “the health system is strong, we have invested significantly”.
New South Wales began week 2030 hospitalized with COVID-19, and 159 were in intensive care units.
Dr Burns said that if his son contracts the virus and develops severe symptoms, a overwhelmed hospital system that “warps, if not breaks,” means he and thousands of other people living with disabilities will not receive the virus. individualized support needed.
“In the circumstances where we were hoping to be two years away from a pandemic, we would take Mac to the hospital,” Dr Burns said in a blog post. “But, we are not in those circumstances.”
“He’s 18 but the size of a 10-year-old. He’s an adult – that means adult service and adult care.
“We know him and his every look and sound and emotion, but no one else knows him. We would be able to help, if it were allowed, but that would be unlikely if we also have COVID, and Mac. is treated like all other adults in the hospital.
“A busy hospital and healthcare system wouldn’t be able to meet the 24/7 demands of usual Mac care, let alone the attention, the size of an equipment. child and staff needed for a COVID patient, potentially in intensive care.
Dr Burns said that while it would be the worst-case scenario, it becomes “much less unlikely” for people with disabilities as the number of cases and hospitalization rates increase.
“It’s scary, but we don’t pretend to deserve something that isn’t offered to others during the pandemic,” he said.
“Sadly, however, we’ve been through what can go wrong in a healthcare system under usual circumstances, let alone one that’s under the pressure of a pandemic and a tidal wave of cases.”
Dr Burns, his wife Gina and Mac have all been tri-vaccinated and have “significantly isolated themselves” over the past two years at their home in Tapitallee on the south coast of New South Wales.
They scrupulously followed health advice and took extra precautions as the state opened up.
“Even when I returned to face-to-face teaching for a brief period early last year, we did so without fully embracing the ‘return to normal’ that we were encouraged to do,” Dr Burns said.
Dr Burns thanked those on the front lines and encouraged others to ‘get the shot’ and ‘be reasonable’.
“Our hearts are with our family and friends on the medical front line, including two nieces of the Nursing Army,” he said.
“We are also eternally grateful to those essential services that have enabled us to isolate and protect.
“We know you are told to go back to work even if you are positive. We hope you know how appreciated you are.”