Extreme weather has brought about a terrifying phenomenon in an Egyptian city. In the wake of a major storm, the Aswan region of Egypt has recently witnessed a literal ‘plague of scorpions,’ leaving hundreds injured and 3 dead.
According to the recent reports of Egyptian outlet Al-Ahram, torrential rainstorms and snowfall have ripped through the city of Aswan over the weekend. This extreme weather condition has unleashed a plague of scorpions over the city, by driving out swarms of scorpions from their hiding nests on the open roads and even in the houses. As a result, over 450 Aswan residents are reportedly hospitalized being stung, with three dead.
Though the particular breed of the scorpions terrorizing the Aswan residents are still not officially identified, the general assumption is pointing out to the poisonous Egyptian fat-tailed scorpions. Their stings are widely considered as near-fatal. According to the BBC, the venom from a black fat-tailed scorpion can kill an adult within one hour. The stung victims are currently under treatment in a few local hospitals. The undersecretary for Aswan’s Health Ministry Ehab Hanafy assured that the government officials are keeping an eye out for the recent situation. Meanwhile, the locals are actively engaging in scorpion-hunting to save their own lives.
Along with this fateful incident, the country of Egypt is currently undergoing even more storm-related fallouts. The roughly two-week-long heavy rainfalls and thunderstorms have left the major Egyptian hubs like Aswan and also Cairo, in a flooded and felled condition, with trees being uprooted and power lines being cut. According to an official ministry spokesperson, the highly destructive torrential rain was accompanied by a heavy storm with a speed of almost 100 km/hour. Unfortunately, such extreme weather is getting only more and more common due to global climate change, leaving the region of Egypt at a high risk of climate-related calamities.
Dr. Matt Morgan works in a hospital in the intensive care unit (ICU) in the UK. He took the time to reflect on his experience working as a doctor during the global pandemic and how it has affected him and those around him.
Choosing to Be a Doctor in the ICU
Many doctors have stories about how certain patients or family members that they’ve worked with over the years as a doctor and how they’ve stuck with them in their careers. For Dr. Morgan, it was a patient he cared for, an 18-year-old boy named Chris, who had died of Sepsis after spending six weeks in the ICU.
Chris was the patient that had stuck with him throughout his career, and he was the reason Dr. Morgan chose to work in the ICU. As a doctor, Morgan wanted to think and act, but most recently, he realized that he wants to communicate with patients, families, and colleagues, more than anything.
He mentioned that communication — in the healthcare industry — is a powerful, valuable, and yet one of the most dangerous procedures, but it matters.
However, with current circumstances, face-to-face communication with families, when they need it most, is done. Instead, the bad news is broken to them over the phone where the silence can be mistaken for hanging up.
Being a Doctor During These Difficult Times
Since no one, apart from the patient, is allowed in most hospitals, doctors do all they can — moving heaven and earth so that families can spend some time with their loved ones who are dying.
While most family members of the patients are constantly waiting for the phone to ring for some kind of news, always hoping for it to be good, Dr. Morgan found himself beginning most conversations with “Don’t worry, this isn’t a bad call.” However, there were more times than he can count that he’s had to start with “So sorry to be doing this over the phone.”
Each doctor will promise to play the patient’s favorite song, hold their hand, and tell them that their family loves them because the patient would die shortly after. These are the patients that Dr. Morgan will carry with him.
He does mention that it’s not all bad and there are heartwarming reunions that can make up for the hard days spent as a doctor in the ICU.