Exactly 34 years ago in this month, 31 people died after Chernobyl's nuclear reactor exploded in Ukraine as an immediate result of the explosion, while in 2005, UN-predicted a further 4,000 people might eventually die due to the radiation exposure. While cleaning up the disaster the Soviet employees were given makeshift uniforms which were made out of metal to safeguard themselves from radiation exposure but those outfits did not work.
At this point of time, when the world is battling against the deadly Coronavirus that has already claimed over 42,000 lives globally, US is facing a shortage of medical facemasks, known as N95 masks as well as protective gowns which led the doctors and medical staffs to use alternatives. Now, experts warn that these safety alternatives will not work.
US acting like Soviets
There is no doubt that Donald Trump and his administration took the Coronavirus situation in the country very lightly and also overlooked early warnings raised by intelligence officials. The Trump administration also facing criticism after the healthcare employees started to raise their voice against the poor safety measures followed in the hospitals during Coronavirus pandemic. They also revealed that currently, they are facing a shortage of equipment which are necessary to treat the COVID-19 patients in hospitals.
Recently, after many nurses and healthcare staff took it to social media and revealed the truth behind the US hospitals, one expert has claimed that US is bungling its approach to COVID-19 in the same way the Soviet Union did during the Chernobyl disaster which took place on April 26, 1986.
The comparison between US and Soviets
In Scientific American, emergency physician Joshua Lerner said that in the HBO's highly popular limited series, Chernobyl, it showed soldiers dressed in leather smocks ran out into radioactive areas near the exploded nuclear power plant to literally shovel radioactive material out of harm's way while wearing such unprotected suits.
In addition, he said, "Please don't tell me that in the richest country in the world in the 21st century, I'm supposed to work in a fictionalized Soviet-era disaster zone and fashion my own face mask out of cloth while others in our country hoard supplies for personal use and profiteering as so-called leaders sit around in meetings hearing themselves talk. I don't want to talk. I don't want assurances. I want action."
Lerner mentioned that "I want boxes of N95 masks piling up in hospitals, donated from the people who hoarded them or from stockpiles of less critical use."
He also said that the US is the country which won two world wars because the entire nation was mobilized and "We outproduced and out-manufactured everyone else while our soldiers outfought the enemy." He urged for the same commitment the country had witnessed in past as the US is now at war against the deadly virus and healthcare workers are today's soldiers.
US' fight against COVID-19
US has recorded 189,633 infection cases, as per latest reports. Considering the current situation, the country which was once called the Land of Milk and Honey, is likely to be confirmed as the epicentre of the COVID-19 by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the Coronavirus cases continue to skyrocket.
Meanwhile, hospital staffs in the US narrated the reality behind the safety measures they are asked to follow in respective healthcare centres. A few days ago, a nurse from New Jersey, Sonja Schwartzbach has revealed that hospital conditions were "far worse" than most people realized.
A Pennsylvania nurse said that the employees at her hospital had received an email from authorities while asking them not to remove gloves and to use sanitizers over the gloves. The email also mentioned that "You also have to keep the same surgical mask on the entire shift. You only get an N95 if certain procedures are being done that would produce aerosols. This is absolutely unacceptable and puts all the staff, other patients and my family at high risk."
Healthcare employees at Mount Sinai West hospital in Manhattan, New York were asked to wear trash bags while treating COVID-19 patients. An employee of the same hospital Kious Kelly died after he was admitted in the same facility as he tested positive for Coronavirus.