On the way to work a holiday song comes on the radio, “Do you hear what I hear, Do you see what I see” – the reality is NO, most of you don’t.
You don’t see what we see. Every day. For ten months straight. 24/7 no break. From daily concerns about enough tests, beds, staff – to trying to manage the “too manys” – patients, infections, deaths.
We cringe when we hear someone say:
It’s not real
It’s not that bad
I don’t know anyone who died from COVID-19
Sadly, doctors, nurses and “frontline” staff have seen far too many. Whether a new resident, or seasoned ICU physician for us – frontliners of every faith, nationality and political view – it’s all too real. We work 12-hour-plus shifts, in full PPE, wearing two or three masks, sweating in layers, covered from head-to-toe (and happy to do so),
We walk into our workplace and see…
A woman crying outside the emergency department, as her husband is taken in for care…alone
An ICU nurse sobbing holding a patient’s hand as he dies with his family looking on from an iPad screen
Pumping therapies into a 25-year-old whose lungs won’t give him enough oxygen
A patient barely whispering, “Please don’t let me die” scared out of her mind
Another co-worker who needs to quarantine – there are nearly 500 now
You probably don’t see this, but we do. Today, there are nearly 400 COVID positive patients we are treating in our hospitals, there will likely be more tomorrow, and the day after. And every heart wrenching hour we try to save another patient with everything we have. Sometimes it’s enough. And sometimes it’s not.
This holiday, you may not “see what we see,” but you can still help us slow down this surge.
We all want our small businesses to open back up – so wear your mask.
We all want our kids back in school – so don’t have large gatherings.
We all want to see family on holidays – but we want to see them next year too – don’t share your air.
It’s up to you, you are the frontline now. We can only do so much without your help. On behalf of every doctor, every nurse, every healthcare worker:
Don’t share your air. Mask up. Don’t gather. Be kind.
Dr. Thomas Utecht
Senior VP, System Chief Medical Officer
Community Medical Centers
Take a look at the impact COVID-19 is having on our hospital system.
This dashboard is updated three times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) at 10am.