The strain of COVID-19 infection that eventually killed four residents at Alder Bay Assisted Living allegedly started with a methamphetamine dealer who denied public health advice and refused to isolate himself, nurses said. Humboldt County Public Health Officer Erica Dykehouse who told famous author Michael Lewis, who was the column for penning Bloomberg.
Lewis ’column,“ Confessions of a COVID Nurse California, ”focuses on Dykehouse’s contact tracking investigations, in which he works backwards from a positive COVID-19 test, trying to find everyone the a new positive case that could be exposed to the deadly virus. This offers little knowledge about the work, as well as a level of detail about cases that local officials have so far refused to offer.
“Two cases get stuck in Erica’s mind. One was a couple in their 70s, both possibly contagious. She had found them, the quarantine told them, and they had turned right around them and hosted a July 4th BBQ. When she tried to contact guests who may have been infected, she found them either rejected or rude at all. “You have these whole social networks that are hostile,” she said. “Most of the time they are polite enough to just climb. But I’m trying to develop thick skin. ”
The other case that stuck in her head was the meth dealer. Public Health nurses had gone to him shortly after he was infected and, despite refusing their advice, said he would isolate himself. Erica suspected he was still sneaking in at night, and her suspicion was confirmed when she infected her buddy, who in turn infected her daughter. The buddy’s daughter, who had no symptoms, went to work at Alder Bay Assisted Living, a nursing home in Eureka. More than a dozen staff members and residents were infected. Four died. “
Humboldt Joint Information Center official Heather Muller declined to confirm details of the specific case on Lewis’s reporting.
“Some pieces of information were shared with the journalist which could compromise the privacy of those involved,” Muller wrote in an email to Journal. “Because of this, the Joint Information Center cannot confirm this information.”
Elsewhere in the column, Dykehouse is quoted as saying that while criteria have changed repeatedly during the pandemic, since June, her contact investigations have generally focused on one question: Who are you within 6 feet to more? from 15 minutes? But apart from the details of the specific case, the biggest to be brought up by the column is Dykhouse who says more and more people are no longer cooperating with contact investigations and instead are hanging on to it, not returning her phone calls or set aside.
Early on, they were cooperative. Although no one was happy to hear that she had COVID-19, people respected her authority. They behaved as much as people did in the face of the pandemic, when they were told they needed to isolate themselves. … And they did their best to comply – at least until mid-May, just after the state asylum order was lifted on the spot. From that point on, her diary tells the story of a disagreeable change. People had less and less interest in what she had to say: they seemed to think they knew everything they needed to know. “A lot of these people are leaving their medical information on Facebook,” Erica said. People stopped returning her phone calls. People hung on to it. People even stopped her. “It’s the first time in this job that I’m experiencing people hanging on to me – except with STDs,” Erica said. “Most of the time you call and say, ‘I’m a Public Health Nurse’ and talk to you or ask back. We’re used to people who trust us. Now they’re not. That was very weird. ‘… But by the end of June, Erica and her colleagues felt that everything was moving in the wrong direction. “We feel we are losing control of the situation,” said one of the county’s health officials. “People are taking it and not we don’t know where. “
In her email to Journal, Muller said Dykehouse’s views do not necessarily reflect those of the county.
“The interview reflects the impressions and experiences of the employee who participated in it and does not necessarily reflect the broader experience of Public Health employees or the state of the ongoing operation,” she wrote before emphasizing to emphasize the importance of timely testing. “When our small-sized county brings with it a particularly large group of cases we risk expanding our resources. That’s why testing and tracking contacts is so important.
As of July 1, Humboldt County has confirmed 95 new cases of COVID-19, 42 percent of the county’s total caseload to date.
Lewis is the author of more than a dozen books, among them Liar’s Poker, Money money, The blind side, The Great Short u Flash boys. Its full Bloomberg a readable column and can be found here.