On November 17, a press conference was held at Lurie Children's Hospital with IL Department of Public Health, Chicago Public Health, IL Academy of Pediatrics and Pediatric Specialists.
More than 8 speakers to took the podium including "non-physician" Ward 2 Alderman Brian Hopkins who pushed for “indoor air hygiene”and “normalizing masks”, while offering an embarrassing "experiment" of mask/unmasked breaths at the microphone.
"What do your ears tell you? It's physics, folks."
-Brian Hopkins, Chicago Ward 2 Alderman
The most rational statements made:
"Keep kids home if sick."
"All viruses have similar symptoms."
Beyond that, there is a lot of propaganda and fear mongering. The long wait times for pediatric visits are not just due to viruses. As mentioned during the Lurie press conference, staff shortages and people using emergency rooms for basic healthcare (versus clinical emergency) are contributing factors.
Phil Kerpen shared excellent RSV data on Twitter which charts various U.S. regions; July 2010 to present. IL falls in region 5 (see image below). The RSV season rises and falls; 2020 saw a major flattening (less exposure due to lockdowns, which is discussed at the press conference.). We are currently in the seasonal peak of RSV based on the data. Several regions experienced similar high peaks in 2012.
Meanwhile, an email from Lurie Children's stated on Nov. 16th: "RSV cases appear to have leveled off or are in decline."
Regarding the Covid Vaccine Clinic: "Effective Monday, November 21, the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic will suspend operations. Appointment requests for COVID-19 vaccinations have significantly declined, and the requirements for pre-procedural testing have been modified, reducing the need for this clinic."
Each Winter, seasonal illness appears in Illinois and 2022-2023 will not be an exception to the rule. This is a good time to stock up on any essentials that may help your family recover during the cold and flu season.
This nurse/Mom offers 10 top supplies to have on hand when caring for a sick kiddo.
As parents, we agree that having a good thermometer, Pedialyte/powdered electrolytes, children's ibuprofen, and soup/crackers/bananas on hand definitely helps when caring for sick kiddos (or adults!). If you have a neighbor who isn't feeling well, ask how you can help with shopping, supplies, etc.
In an effort to limit the strain on short-staffed hospitals, please see some helpful links below of various IL Urgent Care centers open for non-emergency ailments.
Consult with your pediatrician/family physician on any healthcare questions or concerns. Call 911 if there is an immediate and life-threatening situation.
IL URGENT CARE LINKS
(this list is not exhaustive)