In an article published by Bloomberg today, the famous journalist Michael Lewis – author of Money money, The Great Short u The Fifth Risk, among other notable works – writes about his recent surprising visit, in all places, to the Humboldt County Public Health department. The piece is sure to be readable. You can check it out here.
Most of the articles concentrate around Lewis’s conversations with public health nurse Erica Dykehouse which goes into great detail about the long working days she put in to try to prevent the spread of COVID- 19 locally. The overall picture that is paint is not so much of a wens. Even as confirmed cases increase, she says people who are contacted and potentially infected are always willing to help or advise her.
“A lot of these people are getting their medical information on Facebook,” Dykehouse tells Lewis. Another unnamed public health employee described Humboldt’s recent rise in coronavirus cases saying emphatically, “We feel like we’re losing control of the situation. People are getting it and we don’t know. where. ”
Dykehouse shared a few stories about possible cases of Humboldt coronavirus that we’ll share quickly here:
Two cases get stuck in Erica’s mind. One was a couple in their 70s, both possibly contagious. She had found them, told them the quarantine, and they had turned right around them and hosted a BBQ on the Fourth of July. When she tried to contact guests who may have been infected, she found them either rejected or all rude. “You have these whole social networks that are hostile,” she said. “Most of the time they’re 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.
Read Lewis’ full article: “California COVID Nurse Confessions”