Progress for tomorrow: Preparing for the next disaster
But that means all parts of it. I think what Art was talking about was the need to if you really want to have a robust health system, we know we have a hospital overcrowding problem. Let's fix it. The solutions are not hard. If we were an amusement park and we had waiting lines like we have right now to get into the front part of the amusement park, it would go broke and nobody would have a good time. And yet, we have a hospital system where people just order it up at the front door and we haven't done anything about the back room operations and getting people in. This is simple management. It's queuing analysis. It's simple common sense management, and yet we can't do that. Can government fix that? Sure - there are financial solutions; there are incentives; there are management tools. But if you really want to be serious about fixing this whole system, you need to do that.
INGLESBY: Bernie, can I answer your question before should it be on our punch list of looking to the future? Absolutely, if getting the communities engaged results in particular actions, which I think they could. But, for example, getting back to panel two, I think someone was talking about how communities could help hospitals function in a crisis. When we're talking about pandemics, pandemics are going to go on and on and on. It's not going to be three days or four days -type crisis. So my sense is that communities are going to need to rely on all sorts of volunteers to provide medical care both inside the hospitals and alternate care places where people just need a bed and an IV, and in providing home care. So if you can organize your communities to do one particular thing, let's try and figure out how we take care of thousands of sick people at the same time, and get people organized around one particular purpose. I think that would be extremely useful and purposeful.
I'm a little worried about our over-reliance on traditional public health measures like washing hands and other things. I think this discussion about quarantining being some kind of panacea is completely off-track. And so again, I think that if you give - you don't want to falsely reassure people by saying, you, individual, you can take care of this yourself. I think communities can do a great deal themselves if they have particular things that they're trying to do - inform each other, tell people where they can get food and water, tell people about the power outages, which are going to roll - whatever it is, communication systems, provision of medical care. But to suggest that we can all individually become our own public health protectors, I think, is a little bit misleading, a lot misleading.
HEALY: Although in fairness, I don't think that was the message we heard, do you?
INGLESBY: No, but I think it's a message that you hear.