Rhode Island is a densely populated State. This in itself set the stage for the pandemic
In Rhode Island, the numbers started increasing in September. It began after a peaceful summer. Hospitals there started seeing one or two patients in every shift.
From there, the numbers began climbing up, slow and steady. In early December, the State earned an unwanted distinction. It became the State where the number of deaths per every 100000 patients is the highest. Even today, the numbers put it among the top five States in this regard.
How COVID 19 Destroyed Rhode Island
The question is; how did this happen to this closely knit State? The economic activities here were partial. It left open indoor dining, shopping malls and alleys.
The closings were short-lived, like any other State in the country. Until late summer, people lauded Ms Raimondo for controlling the numbers. But today, they blame her for the miserable situation.
Experts, on the other hand, blame numerous other factors. All happened in other parts of the country, but got changed into a crisis in this State.
The winter sent people indoors. The holidays gathered them together. Rhode Island is a small State. One can travel across it in 45 minutes. But millions live in this small space.
According to experts, people everywhere else can have a separation of 6 inches. But in Rhode Island, it probably will be two. For instance, Central Falls is the epicentre of the pandemic there. This place has a population density of 16000 people per square mile.
This approximately twice as that of Providence. A spark here will explode into an outbreak within minutes. Furthermore, the State has the highest percentage of the elderly living in nursing homes.
Health officials also attribute the highest number of deaths to the many urban areas the State has. Jobs, mistrust and language barriers have left the multi-generational migrant families vulnerable. The State also has many colleges which are believed to cause infections.
For long, hospitals there didn’t have the staff required to handle such a crisis. The numbers continued to rise. They tried their best to cope up with the pandemic by changing the guidelines from time to time. Often, they didn’t even have the protective equipment they required. They had to stretch their determination to the limit.
Patients too had a tough time. They felt isolated and anxious. Unrecognizable nurses and doctors wearing masks hurried all around them. This added to their woes.
Last week, doctors witnessed a difficult situation. The elderly began to have a downward spiral. Healthy Latino men came there, with limited English.
These are the demographics responsible for making the country susceptible, say experts. Rhode Island is the poorest State in the country. Latinos always bear the brunt of epidemics most of the time. According to them, the risk of hospitalization is 6.7 times. And the risk of death is 2.5 higher than that of white people.
Soon enough, doctors began seeing other patients turning out positive for COVID 19. Their intensive units became full. They are trying to move everything as fast as they could. Still, patients continue coming. Whenever doctors took off their masks, they ran the risk of getting infected. Their misery continued.
In certain hospital rooms, there were is only one bathroom. And isolating patients in such a circumstance is a real issue. There were also people willing to spend hundreds of dollars to stay in a good hotel. But such wealth is quite rare in Rhode Island. People leading hygienic lives could not understand from where they got the virus.
Stories of suffering abound in this island. Today, the policy is to require health workers to wear N95 masks. Hospitals test anyone among them who is suspected of the disease.
Today, at least 20% adults in the State have received at least the first shot of the vaccine. And that is great news!