In an article published by Bloomberg today, renowned journalist Michael Lewis – author of Moneyball, Big Short and Fifth Risk, among other notable works – writes about his recent surprise visit, in all countries, to the Humboldt County Public Health Department. The piece is certainly worth reading. You can check it out here.
Much of the article focuses on Lewis conversations with public health nurse Erica Dykehouse who goes into great detail about the long working days she has been introduced to testing and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the country. The overall picture she paints is not so comforting. Even as confirmed cases increase, she says infected and potentially infected people she comes in contact with are willingly helpful to help her or pay attention to her advice.
“A lot of these people are getting their medical information from Facebook,” Dykehouse tells Lewis. Another unnamed public health worker described Humboldt’s recent rise in coronavirus cases saying out loud, “We feel like we are losing control of the situation. People are taking it and we do not know where. ”
Dykehouse shared some stories about possible cases of the Humboldt coronavirus that we will share shortly here:
Two cases had stuck in Erica’s mind. One was a couple in the ’70s, both probably sticky. She would find them, tell them of quarantine, and they would return immediately and host a Fourth of July BBQ. When she tried to contact guests who might have been infected, she found them as rejected or stern. “You have all these little social networks that are hostile,” she said. “Most of the time they are polite enough just to sit down. But I’m trying to create thick skin.”
The other case that stuck in her head was the meth trader. Public Health Nurses had learned of him immediately after he became infected and, although he did not reject their advice, said he would be isolated. Erica suspected he was still sneezing at night, and her suspicion was confirmed when he infected a friend of his, who in turn infected his bride. The friend’s mother-in-law, who had no symptoms, went to her job at Alder Bay Assisted Living, a nursing home in Eureka. More than a dozen staff members and residents became infected. Four died.
Read Lewis full article: “The Stories of a California CAVID Nurse”