The amount of healthcare workers getting sick is unsustainable
Spain reports that 6,500 healthcare workers have the virus
There are two theories about coronavirus that are particularly troubling.
1) That a higher viral load means a more-severe illness
2) That something about having caught and fought off many colds/flu makes the virus more severe. This would help to explain why kids don't get as sick.
These are both theories but they're from Ian Mackay, an Australian virologist.
If they're true, it's devastating news for healthcare workers. They are going to repeatedly be exposed to the virus and have been exposed to more illness than anyone from working in healthcare settings.
Spain reports today that 6500 healthcare workers are ill -- 13.6% of all cases. Many of the cases of young, healthy people dying are doctors and nurses. Teachers might also be vulnerable if this is the case.
Even if those theories are false, the amount of healthcare workers getting sick is too high. The system can't sustain it on a human-resources level but also on a systemic basis.
"Even if we do everything else right, if we don't prioritize protecting health workers, many people will die because the health worker who could have saved their lives is sick," WHO leader Tedros.
Chinese healthcare workers in Wuhan tried to walk off the job at various points. They were told their licences would be permanently voided if they didn't show up to work. There were rumours of even greater threats.
People cheering from their balconies for healthcare workers is a wonderful gesture but do we really expect all these people to keep working without proper safety equipment? Nurses are some of the world's greatest people but if 20% decide their lives and families are more important than caring for people who decided not to stay home during a quarantine, then the whole system begins to collapse.