New Mexico shut down nearly everything to keep hospitals from being overwhelmed by covid. It wasn’t enough

By | December 5, 2020

The Washington Post reports:

The governor had been sounding the alarm for more than a month. But by mid-November, it was clear to Michelle Lujan Grisham that she would need to take extreme measures to head off the “most serious emergency that New Mexico has ever faced.”

With covid-19 cases rising exponentially and hospital beds dwindling, she dragged her state back to the darkest days of spring, when restaurant dining was banned, nonessential businesses were closed and residents were ordered to stay inside unless absolutely necessary.

She hoped it might be enough to avert catastrophe this winter.

“New Mexico has crushed this virus before — twice,” she told her state’s 2 million citizens. “We’re going to do it again.”

Three weeks later, victory remains a distant prospect. Instead, Lujan Grisham (D) is on the verge of acknowledging just how grim conditions have become: She will, she said in an interview, soon allow hospitals to move to “crisis standards,” a move that frees them to ration care depending on a patient’s likelihood of surviving.

It is a step that she and other governors have avoided through nine months of battling the pandemic, and one that doctors dread. [Continue reading…]

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