Covid Times

The biggest story in the newspapers over the last few months is not just bush fires.

  • Donald Trump’s impeachment
  • Bush fires in New South Wales, Australia
  • Prince Harry steps down
  • Kobe Bryant dies in helicopter crash
  • UK withdraws from European union

The covid19 pandemic has actually received quite a lot of press for a lot of reasons mainly the destruction to human life. Unlike an epidemic which is an outbreak in a particular region or community a pandemic is an epidemic that spreads over multiple countries or continents.

I was speaking with a doctor at my local hospital about the effects of the pandemic on the emergency room. Here in Germany, after the lockdown of many shops, the emergency room does test for the covid19 virus but unlike some other countries a fairly low percentage come back as positive.

My doctor was talking about the differences in hospitals around the world. Earlier in her career she did a internship at a hospital in the US. What is the difference between a hospital in the US and a hospital in Germany?

In both hospitals the staff are required to purchase their own shoes and stethoscopes. In both hospitals the doctors and nurses wear scrubs and heal the sick.

The most surprising difference is that the doctors in America must clean their own scrubs. Yup, at the end of the day they change into street clothes and pack their dirty scrubs into a bag to be washed at home. I always like to hope my home washing machine will do a fabulous job but I work in IT. When going to work I don’t get exposed to sick patients, strange diseases nor have anyone bleed on me. I might get some dust on my pants from crawling under desks but I think a standard wash machine will take care of it.

During normal non-covid19 times the doctors in America don’t have to wear a mask, well outside of the operating room. This is also true in Germany but the difference is that in the USA wearing personal protection equipment is optional. At my doctor’ hospital it is required to wear a mask and the physicians risk being fired if they are not wearing a mask. Oh, the masks are also provided by the hospital.

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