being shuffled to a waiting area

NewAmerica

Senior Member
Mandarin
Does "being shuffled to a waiting area" mean "being moved to a waiting area"?


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It’s always overpacked,” she said. “Nurses there have sixteen patients.” A new screening tent had been set up, and “suspected covid” patients were being shuffled to a waiting area along one wall, where they sat on stretchers, shivering and coughing into the open air. An E.R. nurse had told Gonzalez that she was still wearing a surgical mask.

Source: New Yorker March 23, 2020
The Growing Chaos Inside New York’s Hospitals
 
  • NewAmerica

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    That thread implies "to move in a crowd" - so it referred in the OP to move the patients in a crowded hospital.

    Thank you.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    That thread describes how they have to move because it's crowded. They could do the same "shuffle" move on their own.
    •to walk without lifting the feet; shamble:[no object]He shuffled around the room.
    • to move (one's feet) along the ground or floor without lifting them:[~ + object]shuffled her feet to the music.
    The OP is being, somewhat unusually, used to describe how someone might move if they were being guided by someone from behind pushing them along. It is likely to be metaphorical here.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    That is a literal interpretatiin that is probably not what was intended. A likely nunace is not related to the patients' ability to walk but a reference to "shuffling papers" - in which the papers (or patients) are not considered important and are just moved to a waiting area rather than being treated right away.
     

    NewAmerica

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    It looks that the patients were treated unfairly or improperly (and the nurse was treated unfairly as well). The use of the word shuffle relfects a medical system that is overwhelmed.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    It looks that the patients were treated unfairly or improperly (and the nurse was treated unfairly as well). The use of the word shuffle relfects a medical system that is overwhelmed.
    Unfair and improper are not really appropriate in this type of situation - uness you feel the outbreak itself is "unfair". The system has no choice but to put the patients in a waiting area. It's like being put on hold when calling a help line which is overwhelmed by callers...
     

    NewAmerica

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    I knew. I used "looks" there. Downgrading the standard measures is unavoidable in such a crisis as pandemic.
     
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