HOUSTON — People who’ve been fighting COVID-19 for months say they are worried about the uptick in hospitalizations in Texas.
Dr. Marc Boom, CEO and President of Houston Methodist and a member of COVID-19 response in the Texas Medical Center, is one of those people.
“We've said this all along this virus is in control, we're not in control,” Boom said Monday in a Zoom interview. “Right now, the virus is showing us pushing back, saying, ‘hey, I'm in control here.’ And if we don't all work together, really to be perfect out in the community, the masking, the social distancing, the handwashing, avoiding touching of one space, the avoidance of large gatherings. If we don't do those, this virus takes control. And when it takes control and gets out of control, our ability to actually control it in any way really gets limited and it can slip out of our hands.”
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Boom said Houston Methodist and its eight hospitals have seen the number of COVID-19 patients triple since Memorial Day from 104 people to 329 Monday.
“That's a pretty dramatic uptick with most of it occurring over the last two weeks or so, so we are concerned about an uptick,” he said.
According to Dr. Boom, this is not just a big city problem.
“This virus knows no boundaries this virus can infect anyone anywhere anytime,” Boom said.
While control over our lives and any certainty still seem elusive, there is one thing Boom says is within reach.
“Masking is a route to being able to return to some semblance of normal,” he said. “Wearing a mask is one of the costs of being able to open back up and have restaurants open and have stores open and have an economy that's flowing, it's a relatively small price to pay at the end of the day, when you're close to other people, and you're protecting them and if you don't wear a mask frankly you're being selfish and you're not protecting your fellow mankind.”
In a statement Monday, the Texas Hospital Association says hospitals have ample capacity right now.
“Hospitals are doing their part, and we need people to do theirs,” said Carrie Williams, spokesperson for the Texas Hospital Association in a statement. “Texas hospitals are committed to helping people get healthy and stay healthy. Wearing a mask in public is paramount, and everyone should consistently practice social distancing. The precautions are an act of kindness to yourself and others and critical to business in Texas.”