Tuesday, March 24, 2020

COVID-19: From authors' diary for health care workers

I want to write this post and acknowledge that the pandemic is a very stressful time for healthcare workers. 

We are looking at the epidemiology that shows the increase in mortality related to the COVID-19 disease. Even though we see death everyday, addition of deaths due to SARS-CoV-2 is heartbreaking. Thoughts about not having enough ventilators, not having proven medical therapies, or a vaccine in the near future are distressing. It is in our inherent nature as healthcare professionals to try and help, it's saddening when we can't. 

Hearing the news is also very depressing. Some don't believe it. Some aren't serious enough... Yet. But when you hear the stories instead of looking at the numbers, it becomes real. How strange must it be, to be in quarantine and see your old grandparent go to the hospital alone? How sad must it be to think that it may be the last time that you see them? 

There are concerns about our safety as healthcare workers. We are being exposed on a daily basis and there are concerns about having not enough personal protective equipment such as masks in the future. Even worse, there are concerns about our families safety. We expose them every time we come home. 

I just want to tell you that all your anxieties and concerns are valid. You're not the only one thinking about these things. As we fight this pandemic together, our mental health is important. I'm proud of you for being concerned. I'm proud of you for continuing to fight everyday. 

If you are a health care provider and are distressed by this like I was and want to talk about it, email me at medicowesome@gmail.com. We also have a well being group on Whatsapp to help each other stay strong! 

I was recently talking to a colleague about how we have chosen this profession because this is what we always wanted to do - treat patients. We spoke about the retired physician in Italy who came back to work for his patients. It's noble. It's humbling. If we don't take care of the sick, who will?


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