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December 2021 Pacific Telehealth and COVID Update


To all my Pacific family & healthcare colleagues:

Whew! 2022 flew into our world on an ominous cumulus cloud but always count your blessings. We will turn this around, get vaccinated and boosted and stay alive.

New year, as many in America are retreating to their family bubbles, with new COVID cases reported at over 700,000 /day in America (2.5 million a day globally), many here on Guam, like many across the world, just stay at home a few days and don’t report if they tested positive with the antigen home kits (RAT) so local public health / WHO don’t get all the numbers. Many countries don’t even report COVID cases anymore. We here in the pacific are mostly vaccinated and just try to navigate through our day and stay productive, wearing our masks of course and just fist bump instead of hug and try to find a breezy place outside facing the west for our sunset toasts. So to all I extend a wishful and optimistic glass half filled buenas, HafaAloha, ungil tutau, mogethin, raninim, kaselahlia, tu wo, yokwe, g’day mate, kiora, bula, bonjour & ohayo gozaimas, etc. to all of you and yours.

Last weeks new years eve update noted that our hospitals are getting very busy again: not just from the sheer number of folks with the ‘omicron flu’ coupled with our normal pacific chronic ‘co-morbidity’ patients but also from an increased number of admissions of (mostly not eligible for vaccination) youngsters, so please continue to be mindful and kind to all our healthcare workers. The number one job vacancy calls from communities across the world is still for nurses. On Guam we still have over 70 rotating recruited ‘renta-nurse’ folks helping on short term contracts at Guam’s only public hospital (GMH).

Interesting note in the New Zealand island section about dealing with the tremendous spike in aussieland daily cases and omicron drifting into kiwi land next door: fight or embrace. I would still like my family to avoid COVID if at all possible, so get boosted please.

Anyway back to the numbers and situation reports and news briefs and thanks again for the folks that still send in notes from their islands. Let us all join in and behave and push the little spiky bugger to the corners of our lives (and then get our yearly booster to control spread) instead of letting it take over and control our daily routines. Here’s to a healthy 2022 and a heart filled mes sulang, kalmagar, keneso, kalangan, kulo maleap, komol ta ta, vinaka, domo arigato, mahalo and si yu’us ma’ase, merci, salamot po to all your community’s healthcare and front-line workers / LLTN’s.