Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Governor Walz explained that we must shut down Minnesota to avoid overwhelming our 235 ICU beds with Covid-19 patients.  Apparently, if the 236th patient showed up, we’d have no choice.  We’d wheel her to the parking lot and leave her to die – there’s simply no way to treat her without an ICU bed.
So why do we have a hard limit on ICU beds?  Why not get more of them?  This is a serious question that maybe some SITDers can answer: what does an ICU bed to treat Covid-19 require?
Not talking about Minnesota luxury standard where you put one ICU bed in a hospital with sandwich bar in the cafeteria, talking about what Hawkeye Pierce would do.  The governor is invoking martial law powers because fighting the virus is the equivalent of war.  So what would a battlefield ICU bed for Covid-19 need?
Let’s say I want to double the number of Covid-19 treatment beds available. Is there anything special about the bed, itself, or can we call Original Mattress Factory to deliver a couple hundred beds?  If the patients need to sit up to breathe, does the bed need electric tilt or could we call that pillow guy to bring us a few hundred of his fancy pillows to stuff behind them?  Space – we’ve got high school gyms sitting empty.  Dividers – call the cubicle people to slap up free-standing cubicle walls between beds.
Ventilator?  That’s a fancy word for fan.  Any leaf blower could push air into your lungs. Speed controller?  Dimmer switch.  Regulator valve?  SCUBA dive shop.  Fan, vacuum cleaner hose, mask, duct tape, let’s get creative.  A CPAP doesn’t push hard enough but is that because the fan isn’t strong enough, or because the software limits it?  Can we overclock the fan to blow harder? 
Not medical grade?  That woman in the parking lot is dying, does ‘medical grade’ really matter to her?  Besides, there’s a machine shop in North Branch making aluminium AR-15 parts on state-of-the-art computer-controlled milling machines.  Give them the software code for ventilator parts, offer them $10,000 per unit, I bet they could pound them out in a week.  
Trained personnel to staff the bed?  Rosie the Riveter learned a new job.  You saying college kids today can’t?  $50 an hour, you’re out of school anyway, sign up here.
Seriously – why is the existing number of ICU beds sufficient justification to impose martial law?  Why not just build more ICU beds?  
Joe Doakes

Seventy years ago, they figured out a way to build antisubmarine patrol boats in Shakopee. Submarines in Wisconsin.

We can figure this out – provided “figuring it out” is the real goal.

I’m not entirely sure it is, for everyone.

34 thoughts on “Responses

  1. Lots of snarky griping at an elected official that has done a much better job than the one that said we would have 15 deaths in US and it would be all over.

    We knew about the virus since January if not before, we saw the extreme measures being taken in China to contain it, and basically did nothing for two months, until it was basically up to municipalities and states to start acting on their own. The Feds have been botching this thing from day one, and it’s resulted in the U.S. being #1 is virus cases and an almost uncontrolled spread, while states and hospitals plead for equipment and get answered with partisan nonsense, equivocating, excuses, blaming the previous administration, and bragging about the TV ratings for daily televised briefings on the national emergency.

  2. Once again, Emery, Arguing with Idiots.
    I notice that you lefties are always blaming someone else, yet you forget that at least 50% of the people in charge of the various departments within the Federal government, are left over Obamatards. They were the ones that left the U.S. unprepared by not replenishing the supplies of masks, respirators, etc. after the 2009 H1N1, encouraged offshoring the manufacturing of virtually everything in China, now they propagandize for them. Meanwhile, SEIU goons squirrel away 39 million masks and only reveal it when they are threatened with exposure. There is blame to go around for everyone and once again, and I’ll type this slowly so you can perhaps comprehend. Obama waited until October 2009 to declare the H1N1 an emergency, when it started in April, after 1,000 had died in the U.S. Despite what you want to parrot from your propaganda spewing, because you are void of the ability to think for yourself, I have provide the link to this article from your favorite source, CNN from October 26, 2009. Please note that Obama’s own HMFIC of the CDC, is quoting the statistics.

  3. Out if curiosity, I’ve looked up various designs for ventilators.

    What you need can be had for under $200.

    Three pneumatic valves (graingers; $35 ea.)
    – one valve to fill a 1qt. Freezer bag
    – one valve to allow the bag to express air into the lungs
    – one valve to allow allow exhalation.

    A weighted plate to squeeze the bag. Male inhalation pressure is about 65cm H2O: in the most basic example I saw, a medium crecent wrench was taped to the plate to provide the weight.

    You need a pressure regulator and filter for the compressed air to fill the bag, and two hoses (one inhale, one exhale).

    2 security system window prox switches and 2 2P2T relays, $85 from Graingers (or a PLC; $125 from Automation Direct) control the dirt simple valve sequencing. If you want to get fancy, you can make a manometer to measure system pressures.

    In a pinch, I could build one in about 45 minutes. Medical grade? Lol, no. But nanna wont die in the parking lot.

  4. BB, Chinese medical equipment is worth every penny you pay for it:

    “The Netherlands has recalled 600,000 coronavirus face masks it imported from China after discovering they were faulty”

    They eat bats for crissakes; who’s gonna trust their lives to Chinese.

    This mask panic is just more propaganda. A square of cotton batting to cover mouth and nose will work, are washable and volunteers have made >10 million of them. Surgical gloves are a bigger problem to McGuyver, but I haven’t heard Nurses Association members complaining about a lack of those.

  5. Lots of snarky griping at an elected official that has done a much better job than the one that said we would have 15 deaths in US and it would be all over

    I’m sure that list of all the things Walz has done is coming soon. I mean, apart from quarantining himself.

  6. Hoping;
    Mike Lindell has converted both of his production facilities into making masks. Along with his family, a friend that owns a commercial laundry, are working to wash the fabric, as required under health regulations.

  7. Oh look, emetic’s lips are moving again.

    Er, I mean, I am totes certain that is what PDT said. Totes.

    So what has this amazing mayor done other than close down the city, like every other big city mayor?

    (emetic runs off to vox for some cut and paste)

  8. PS: Trump travel ban: January

    Nazi Pelosi saying “go to Chinatown and mingle with the crowds, everything is fine-February

    Deblasio saying “go out and party”- March

    Slow Joe on the travel ban-STILL against it.

    Yup, those demonrats sure were out ahead of this thing.

  9. Progressive leaders remind me of the old movie, Gremlins. Sure, they look cuddly and adorable – but get one wet, feed it after midnight, or expose it to a crisis, and watch out!

  10. Trump is not aware he’s been the president for three years. Still blaming problems on what he’s “inherited.”

    What he inherited was a booming economy and a pandemic team.

    Trump’s failure to ramp up testing is the prime reason this virus has gotten a huge leg up on this country.

    The amount of time you all are spending desperately trying to rewrite what happened tells you everything you need to know.

  11. Man, EVERY single comment from Emery has become an off-topic ‘Orange Man Bad’. Look, I lasted through Clown and Doggie; but I’m not sure I can hold out against his incessant whinging. Its bad for my eyes. Every time I the Dr Stangelove avatar pops up my eyes roll so far back it takes me an hour until I can see straight again.

  12. We’ve got to lock down so we don’t crowd the hospitals. Doctors and nurses don’t have enough maskies, gowns or gloves. Your elective surgery is postponed indefinitely because PEOPLE ARE DYING!

    But not one degenerate state has shut down an abortion abattoir to save grammy and grampy. In fact, they’re tearing their hair out and suing states that have shut Dr. Mengele down.

    Over the years, my thinking on infanticide has changed. No, I haven’t gone AngryClown, skeet shooting crazy; I still believe it’s murder most foul, and those that engage or enable it are degenerate reprobates. But it occurs to me that *because* the vast majority of those that engage or enable it are degenerate reprobates, maybe the world is better off without their progeny. I’ll probably burn for that, but there it is.

    Anyway, I digress. We didn’t need more, but here’s another example of why civilized Americans should shun leftists, and exempt their opinions from consideration in rational, reasoned discussion.

  13. Emery could get away with utter nonsense and nobody could prove how inane it was

    The Little Weasel doesn’t even care. Contradictory facts cause a topic change or perhaps a commenting pause. Lies, even when exposed, are simply repeated again and again.

  14. If Trump always knew it would be a pandemic, why didn’t he instantly rehire the NSC pandemic response team that he and Bolton had disbanded? After all, at a press conference on Feb 26, he said the reason he did it is because he didn’t like people on the payroll who were “doing nothing,” and “I can always get them back when I need them.” It sure seems like he could have used them, oh, about 6 or 8 weeks ago… of course, back then he was using words like “hoax” to describe what he “knew would be a pandemic.”

    It has to be whiplash for people who were told this was a democrat hoax to now be informed they can’t go anywhere.

  15. “It has to be whiplash for people who were told this was a democrat hoax to now be informed they can’t go anywhere.”

    The fact that no one is informing *me* I can’t go anywhere, but *your* degenerate leftist Governor has declared martial law light, and *your* degenerate leftist mayor promises to enforce it with extreme prejudice proves it *is* a Democrat hoax.

    Personally, I think it’s time for Berg to start enforcing some social distancing in here. We know LoIQEm has a severe, infectious mental illness, God only knows what else he’s got crawling around inside him. I’d say a 3 day time-delay in publishing his drivel is in order.

  16. JD, according to some columnist at the Red Star the real reason for the lack of beds (ICU or otherwise, I guess), is that “Unused capacity costs money. Our largely nonprofit healthcare system in Minnesota is far too competitive to allow for too much of that”. Odd there’s nothing about Met Council decisions.

  17. Emery, you really need to check your TDS.
    “If Trump always knew it would be a pandemic, why didn’t he instantly rehire the NSC pandemic response team that he and Bolton had disbanded?”
    Since the first clause of your “if” statement is false, all that follows is nonsense.

  18. “Unused capacity costs money”

    See also: Choo choo trains

  19. Lighter commenting — helping to flatten the curve.

    *Burrows deep into his pile of rotting trash bags, cat feces and moldy kiddy pr0n magazines.*

  20. JDM, the “unused capacity” argument sounds impressively economic and scientific and financial. I should be cowed by the jargon except . . . .

    The reason I didn’t buy a 16 bedroom house was I didn’t need all those extra bedrooms and the unused capacity would have cost money in the form of a higher house payment. That part of the theory is correct, as far as it goes.

    Using that analysis, hospitals should not be asking for more rooms, same as I didn’t, because hospital administrators would know enough not to build rooms they don’t need and can’t pay for.

    But go to the Minnesota Department of Health’s Hospital Public Interest Review page, scroll down to “Completed Reviews,” and see how many hospitals have been begging for more rooms only to be shot down at the state level.

    Why do these frugal, competitive, non-profit, professional hospital administrators keep applying for waivers to build more hospital rooms the state says they don’t need and can’t pay for?

    What makes state bureaucrats so much smarter than the people actually running the business?

    Why don’t we have enough hospital beds, now that we need them?

  21. Emery is the quintessential Democrat. He knows the solution to every problem.

    When faced with a national medical crisis, hire more bureaucrats.

  22. JD, I was very impressed too. That’s the kind of high falutin’ reasoning one can expect from such an august newspaper.

    … and I’m here to serve as your straight-man and set up your rants 😉

  23. “Hoping to recover 25% losses any day now Swiftee on April 1, 2020 at 2:44 pm said:
    “Unused capacity costs money”
    See also: Choo choo trains”

    So, basically, you need to subsidize ticket prices, or otherwise your unused capacity would lead to innefficiency?

  24. A commenter on another site pointed out the state’s Emergency Management Director is looking into acquiring sites for alternative care facilities – basically, unlicensed hospitals. So, my idea had merit. Good. Glad to see them coming on board.

    That’s well and good, but when this is done, we need to have a long talk about WHY we have a shortage of beds in the first place, and why there’s no plan in place to instantly bring extra beds on line. Why did the state shoot down all those requests? Why didn’t the Emergency people have a plan – even if COVID is a Black Swan event, surely they’ve heard of bioterrorism?

    And while we’re at it, if it’s possible to add 5,000 new beds by ignoring the regulations, then do we still need The Great Minnesota “Go To Your Room” order to ‘flatten the curve’ now that we have so many extra beds? How much flatter does it need to be, and for how long, versus how much harm is the Order doing every day?

  25. I hope that the state’s Emergency Management Director is laying in a good supply of kerosene to burn the bodies.

  26. JD: Let’s say you are an empty-nester. Your 3 kids are gone and married. 99% of the time, you and your spouse exist on the main level of your home, let’s say that one level is 1,200 square feet.

    But a couple times a year, your kids and their spouses come back, so you keep the big house with multiple levels, 4,000 total square feet. Even though you do most of your living in 30% of that space.

    Now, you could downsize to a perfectly nice 1,500 square foot house. Your house payment would be cut in half — your property taxes might be nearly half. But when your kids come to visit, they will need to stay at a nearby hotel.

    Hospitals across the country have decided to downsize for the 99.9% scenario. I think that is smart, but it means in times like this we need to be creative.

  27. No, Emery, hospitals did not decide that. The State of Minnesota’s bureaucrats decided that. The Star Tribune columnist is reciting The Party Line but he’s wrong.

    We know he’s wrong because if hospitals decided to downsize, there would be no need for a moratorium to prevent hospitals from upsizing. If hospitals decided to downsize, there wouldn’t be a page full of rejected applications for permission to upsize, on the MDH Hospital Public Interest Review website.

    A better analogy would be I want to sell my 1,200 square foot house to buy a 4,000 square foot house but the City Zoning Administrator won’t allow the purchase to go through because she doesn’t think I need that much space.

    The bureaucrats are peddling propaganda wholesale to cover their failures. You’re retailing the propaganda here. We’re not buying it.

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