Reinforcing the call for cooperation, a Kailua doctor sees differences in this wave of COVID patients

Published: Aug. 14, 2021 at 6:04 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 14, 2021 at 7:51 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - As cases rise, so do COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state. The growing number is alarming to those on the frontlines.

Dr. Sarah Canyon, a primary care physician said the community can help change the course of the pandemic.

She says as COVID patients have needed care in such large numbers, there is very little space to help care for those who also need care including sufferers of strokes or heart attacks.

“You know the fear in people’s eyes, I feel like if people saw what I see when we went to the hospital every day,” said Canyon. “They would be running to be vaccinated.”

Canyon owns a private practice in Kailua.

For the last few weeks, she’s been providing back-up cover at the hospitals and is seeing more and more people enter the hospital.

She adds that the wave of patients is different from earlier ones during the pandemic.

“The next patient also at a young age, unvaccinated, contracted their COVID from another person who’s unvaccinated,” said Canyon.

The doctor said that the growing number of COVID patients is starting to put a burden and strain on the system.

“And when you’re working in so many different hospitals, not just on this island but on other islands as well, it becomes very difficult to move patients who don’t even have COVID to the hospitals that they need to be at for specialist care,” said Canyon.

While Oahu is dealing with the highest amount of COVID cases in the state, Mayor Rick Blangiardi says it doesn’t seem feasible to go under lockdown.

He says this week’s numbers will determine if more restrictions should be implemented.

In the meantime, he’s pushing for people to do their part.

“We’re trying to respect the difference in opinions, this is not about individual rights,” said Blangiardi. “Right now, this is about community, this is about the fact that I may be sick, and I think it’s my right to be sick.”

“And that would be the case except I run the risk of making not only other people sick, but also expecting other people to take care of me,” added Blangiardi. “Right now, hospitals have really been taxed in that regard.”

Dr. Canyon is also encouraging people to get vaccinated.

“I think we’re asking people to address this social problem with collective action, because we need to think outside of ourselves,” said Canyon. “We need to think of the downstream effects, and we need to be brave enough to face the real and present danger, and just get vaccinated.”

Along with vaccines, Dr. Canyon says masks should also be continued to be used by all whether vaccinated or not.

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