A nurse checks on man on his belly in a hospital bed. He is hooked up to a ventilator.

Photo Credit: Felipe Dana / AP Photo

Bursting VanIsle Hospitals Squeeze in Sick Neighbours

The Island's three COVID ICUs are almost full

Sick people from Northern BC are being transferred to VanIsle hospitals, which were already bursting with sick people from VanIsle

The fourth wave of COVID on Vancouver Island just won’t quit. The bars are open, school is in session, and more people have COVID on VanIsle than ever.

It’s a bit hard to wrap your head around.

Now, parts of BC have been so hard-hit that they’re sending sick patients to other parts of the province.

Five people who are sick with COVID are being flown to VanIsle. They’ll be cared for in COVID ICU wards in Nanaimo and Victoria.

It’s essential to be able to take care of folks in the province. We’re all in this together, after all. But it’s scary that it has gotten this bad.

It’s also scary because VanIsle hospitals were full before the pandemic hit. They were already in a crisis. Now they’re absolutely bursting. Doctors, nurses, and other people who work in hospitals are exhausted.

Most of the people who are sick with COVID these days are unvaccinated. In the weekly COVID update, Adrian Dix, BC’s Minister of Health, said it’s not about blaming people for being sick. He just wants people to know how important it is to get the jab.

More than 80% of VanIsle’s population is fully vaccinated now. That means there’s only one place left for the virus to go.

Viruses live by survival of the fittest. And they’re going to infect the people who give them the best chance of surviving. Right now, unvaccinated people give them that chance.

Unvaccinated people like Josh Mellor. He’s a 39-year-old farmer from Duncan with a wife and two kids. He’s also on a ventilator in the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria. His COVID got so bad that he couldn’t breathe on his own.

His wife Miranda is fully vaccinated. As a result, she and the kids are healthy.

She says Josh was on the fence about the vaccine. Now she wishes she had tried harder to get him to talk to his doctor.

There are lots of ways to keep yourself from getting COVID. Wearing a mask is super effective. Hanging out outside also helps. But getting vaccinated gives your body the best fighting chance against COVID.

It’s the best way to stay standing instead of laying on your belly with a tube in your lungs.

If you’re on the fence about the vaccine, talk to a doctor.

Let’s beat the pandemic so we can go back to fixing the regular hospital crisis.