In a five minute video comparing the spread of the new coronavirus in Travis County to the Titanic, the Travis County Medical Society warned that if the county and its residents do not do more to slow the spread of the disease, the area will soon be overrun with cases.
"The [Titanic's] crew's effort to slow and turn the ship were futile. We all know what happened next," said John Abikhaled, the president of TCMS. "If COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to double at the current rate, in less than three weeks, our health care system's capacity to care for patients will be exceeded."
Abikhaled said, "If the surge continues," there will be a shortage of trained health care workers, medicine to treat patients will be depleted, and hospitals will run out of room for new patients.
"Once our hospitals are overwhelmed, the best possible care can no longer be provided to each patient," Abikhaled said. "Terrible decisions will have to be made about who receives care, and who does not. None of us in the medical community want to be forced to make those decisions."
Experts and elected officials for Travis County and Austin have warned in recent days that the city is nearing its Stage 5 COVID-19 response, which holds the most drastic set of recommendations for shutting down businesses and banning large gatherings.
"Texas is on a collision course with a viral iceberg, but we don't have to sink," Abikhaled said.
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