ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – According to an ICU doctor, the situation in local hospitals is teetering on unimaginable. “If everybody can wear a mask, and socially distance appropriately, this issue will, just like it did in the spring, and just like it did in the summer, go back into its hole and then we can have a manageable problem,” said Dr. Jon Marinaro of UNM Center of Adult Critical Care.

Dr. Marinaro heads up the UNM Center of Adult Critical Care. He says even though drug companies are making strides, he cautions people not to assume vaccines or treatments will be available to save them if they get sick. He says New Mexico’s rise in cases is affecting people of all ages, from young children to the elderly.

The hospitals seeing the greatest strain are those in the state’s small, rural communities. That’s why Dr. Marinaro is running an online course called “Critical Care Support,” aimed at sharing vital skills and knowledge with healthcare providers in those communities.

“University Hospital, Lovelace, Presbyterian, St. Vincent’s, etc. No single institution is going to be able to handle this pandemic, so anything we can do to raise the boats of these smaller hospitals that are really struggling, and we all feel for them,” Dr. Marinaro said. More than 120 people have signed up for that course.