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interview with an ER doctor on the front line, everything you wanted to know about coronavirus

Coronavirus Interview with an ER Doctor on the Front Line

by Deborah Cruz

The world feels like it’s falling apart with the coronavirus pandemic. It’s scary. I’m not the type to buy into fear and hysteria but facts are facts. The coronavirus is an unknown and as such, if you have an ounce of sense, you are probably afraid. You are not alone. Even the doctors and nurses are afraid. You should be afraid.  I had an interview with an ER doctor on the front line and I found out everything you wanted to know about coronavirus.

I wanted to get some real answers so I contacted a front line healthcare worker, an ER doctor. There are so many conflicting reports and the information is changing by the moment. I’m just a mom, no medical background so I consulted a professional I asked the questions in my interview with an ER doctor and I found out everything you wanted to know about coronavirus. She is not the only doctor who feels this way.

READ ALSO: What is Coronavirus and what does every Mom Need to Know

The big truth is that healthcare workers are severely wanting of protective gear. We’re basically sending them into the hospitals like lambs to the slaughter. We want them to save us but they are not even equipped to save themselves, they don’t have what they need on hand to protect themselves from contracting coronavirus from constant and repeated exposure.

Why should you care about that (besides that it’s the human thing to do)? You should care because 1) if they all get sick, there will be no one to take care of your loved ones if they get sick 2) if they are exposed and carrying or sick and you go into the hospital to get checked, you’ll probably contract it too. This is going to cost lives. There is no way around that.

interview with an ER doctor on the front line, everything you wanted to know about coronavirusThis is my interview with an ER doctor on the frontlines. This is everything you wanted to know about coronavirus.

Me: Thank you for what you do. How are you holding up?

 

ER: Thanks. I’m in full panic mode. There’s not enough protective gear at the hospitals. It’s not that I’m special, but I refuse to use substandard equipment during all of this so that’s going to leave me (an asthmatic) with very few choices soon.

 

Me: I hope they get you guys some more protective gear.

 

ER: They’re rationing protective gear and telling people to use stuff that won’t protect them and I’m not going to do that. It puts me and my patients in harm’s way, leaving us all vulnerable.
Coronavirus is scary for everyone, but especially for me and others in the high-risk group.
I’m willing to do my part, but I’m not willing to die because I’m not protected and those are my only choices right now.
They’re going to kill off all the healthcare workers in America because the government isn’t getting us what we need.

  • President Donald Trump has not yet made use of the Defense Production Act to get critical supplies to the front lines of the coronavirus fight, FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
  • Trump said Friday that he was using the act and had directed “a lot” of companies to produce key supplies like masks and ventilators.
  • On Saturday, the president suggested that he had not done that because private companies were stepping up on their own.
  • Gaynor told CNN that donations and voluntary offers of assistance were presently sufficient. “If it comes to a point we have to pull the lever, we will,” he said.

Me: Are they giving it to us straight or is it being played down to the public?

 

ER: They’re going to hurt everyone in this chaos and the ramifications will be felt for decades to come. It’s not just affecting the elderly. Half the people in Italy admitted with coronavirus are 20-54-years-old.

 

Me: So, what kind of protective gear are the hospitals in need of?

 

ER: Right now we are in desperate need of N95s, face shields, gloves, surgical
masks, gowns and hair covers.

 

Me: Is there a shortage bring manufactured? Or just a shortage on hand? How can we help?

 

ER: There’s a nationwide shortage. Not enough protective gear at hospitals currently and not enough being manufactured.
If someone has product to donate, I would call the county or state department of health and ask where to make donations. Or even contact your local hospitals (might be better) if you have access.

Me: I read somewhere there is a new quick test that takes about 45 minutes. Is that true?

 

ER: In regards to new quick testing, I haven’t heard of that yet. But, there have been a lot of fake companies trying to sell stuff to hospitals. If it’s from the FDA then that’s promising.

 

Me: What advice would you give to people to stay well?

 

ER: Well people need to stay at home as much as possible. Wash hands frequently. Go nowhere except pharmacy, gas and grocery stores. The more people stay away from each other the less the spread.

 

Me: What advice would you give people who suspect they’re sick?

 

ER: Sick people should stay home. Self-isolate from family as much as possible. If you don’t feel short of breath stay home and wait to feel better … like you’d do with the flu.
If you become short of breath and you feel you need to go to the ER, call ahead to let them know your symptoms so preparation can be made.

 

Me: Anything else I should include so people understand how serious this is? How easy it spreads? How it’s different than the flu? Why it’s more dangerous? What we can do to keep ourselves healthy during this time of quarantine? How this will negatively affect healthcare workers and why that’s important to every citizen

 

ER: People need to understand that no one alive today has an immune system that has been exposed to this virus so no one’s body is equipped to prevent the infection. If you are in the company of someone who has it you WILL get it.

 

The majority of people will feel nothing worse than a cold or flu. That’s a best-case scenario.

 

Me: Do you know, if you catch it, do you have immunity then or can you catch it again?

 

ER: No one knows at this time if having it once can prevent you from getting it again.

 

ME: What predicts if a person will experience it like a cold/flu or worse? Underlying conditions? What underlying conditions are. Included?

 

ER: People with chronic diseases; cardiovascular and lung disease are more adversely affected. People will die.

 

ME: What is the worst-case scenario experience? What will happen then?

 

ER: If a majority of health care workers get sick/ die this will make the current crisis many folds worse and leave Americans without adequate healthcare for decades to come.

ME: Are healthcare workers more susceptible just because of being on the frontlines? Or is it because of the inadequate gear? Repeated exposure?

 

ER: Being on the front lines without adequate protective gear is the biggest risk, and likely multiplied by repeated exposure without protection.
The slower this spreads across America the more time healthcare workers have to give patients the care they need in a manageable setting. This means people need to stay at home so the virus can’t spread. If everyone gets sick all at once the hospitals will be overrun and there will not be enough beds, medicines, or critical care equipment to take appropriate care of ANYONE.

If we’re lucky,  we’ll spend some time at home with our families and it’ ll feel like we overreacted and no one we love will die. That’s if we self-quarantine and practice social distance as asked. If we don’t, and we keep going on spring break and going to parties and thinking the rules don’t apply to us,  we’ll all lose people that we know.

READ ALSO: Why Spring Break Needs to be Canceled

We need anybody who can donate any masks, but most importantly N95s, to do so.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed an executive order requiring all hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, outpatient clinics, dental clinics, and veterinary clinics with surplus PPE supplies to notify the state’s PPE coordinator to arrange for a handoff. Vets, dentists, and the like are ordered, by law, to participate in the reallocation of this excess equipment to the nurses and doctors directly treating patients. According to the executive order, any person found to be in violation would be subject to the penalties of a Class C misdemeanor.

WE NEED THIS IN EVERY STATE. Contact your local governor by email or CALL THEM and implore them to follow Governor Brown’s example and get our healthcare workers the protective gear they need. Our doctors and nurses on the front lines should not have to resort to Twitter and using a hashtag #GetMePPE just to do their job.

Our doctors and healthcare workers should not have to fear for their lives in order to save ours.

This was my interview with an ER doctor asking everything you ever wanted to know about coronavirus. If you have more questions, leave them in the comments and I will follow up with the doctor and try to get you the answers.

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25 comments

Amber Myers 2020/03/24 - 11:11 am

These are crazy times and we all need to stay in. Texas just ordered us to stay in place starting tonight. I have been doing that for the most part. I only go out for groceries. And toilet paper, which I can’t seem to find, ugh.

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Deborah Cruz 2020/03/31 - 1:15 am

Found toilet paper at Target. You can’t find it to order online anywhere but Target ( and probably Walmart) have it on the shelves. You are limited to one package ( but if you’re willing to pay it they have the 30 roll available). We were because there are 4 of us and we don’t go out to the stores a lot ( social distancing and self quarantining + shelter in place for use) so hopefully this will get us through a month or so. Stay healthy and safe.

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Pam Wattenbarger 2020/03/24 - 11:36 am

My cousin is a nurse in a major hospital in a big city. She’s seen the coronavirus in hospitals for several weeks now. She says there are no tests available and a severe lack of protective gear. I’m all about staying home right now.

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Deborah Cruz 2020/03/31 - 1:12 am

Me too. It’s scary having someone you love on the inside. We know too much and it makes it that much scarier.

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Tasheena 2020/03/24 - 1:04 pm

Thank you for sharing this interview. It’s really informative. A lot of questions were answered that many people have.

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Deborah Cruz 2020/03/31 - 1:12 am

GLad it was helpful. Thanks for stopping by.

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GiGi Eats 2020/03/24 - 1:08 pm

What a fantastic interview!!! It’s interesting to hear personal stories. I am doing my part by staying home as much as I can (which isn’t super hard for me because I work from home and I am a homebody)… And I hope others are doing the same!

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Deborah Cruz 2020/03/31 - 1:11 am

You’re doing the right thing. I hope everyone follows your example. We have been home for over 3 weeks now and I plan on staying in as long as need be. Stay safe.

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Sarah Bailey 2020/03/24 - 3:33 pm

This is such an interesting read – it is amazing to hear what the front line doctors are really having to deal with and I think everyone should know that.

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Deborah Cruz 2020/03/31 - 1:10 am

It’s so much worse than any of us can imagine. The lack of PPE is the big problem right now. That leaves healthcare workers exposed and vulnerable. Then we come in and even if you didn’t arrive with it, more than likely you’ll get exposed to it.

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Chef Dennis 2020/03/25 - 2:56 am

This COVID 19 is really causing terror for all of us. It’s not a simple thing for us to ignore this. Thank you for sharing this interview with us and for spreading awareness.

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Deborah Cruz 2020/03/31 - 1:08 am

Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate it.

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Catalina 2020/03/25 - 7:24 am

wow! I am scared about this situation. The entire world is not prepared to it!

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Deborah Cruz 2020/03/31 - 1:08 am

No one could have been to this degree but we need to all be ready to do our part and self-quarantine. It’s so easily spread and we’re all vulnerable to this. The bottom line is that we have no antibodies to it and so if we come in contact with it, we will catch it. We just have no idea how it will affect us.

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Marysa 2020/03/25 - 9:47 am

It is good to be aware and educated about Coronavirus. My thoughts go out to those in the medical field who are out there taking risks and caring for those who are sick.

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Deborah Cruz 2020/03/31 - 1:06 am

Exactly. The best thing we can all do right now is stay home and only go into the hospitals when we absolutely need so as to not overwhelm the system all at once.

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Cheryl Eugenio 2020/03/25 - 10:19 am

I totally agree. We all should be cautious and not to underplay this!

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Deborah Cruz 2020/03/31 - 1:05 am

It definitely needs to be taken seriously and given the attention it deserves.

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Nancy at Whispered Inspirations 2020/03/25 - 3:59 pm

I’ve been following this closely since the end of January. This is life-changing, I am so appreciative of front line workers.

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Deborah Cruz 2020/03/31 - 1:05 am

Me too. There are no words to express my gratitude for what they do. They are literally running in to take care of people when they have very little PPE and they know each time they go to work in these conditions it could be dangerous to them and their own family.

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Mama Maggie's Kitchen 2020/03/25 - 4:57 pm

Our frontliners are our heroes! We are really thankful for them for making are that we are safe and well protected. Keeping them always in our prayers!

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Deborah Cruz 2020/03/31 - 1:03 am

Yes, I couldn’t agree more. They are heroes. I am afraid of what happens if they don’t have the PPE they need to do their job safely.

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Ice Cream n Sticky Fingers 2020/03/25 - 10:34 pm

I’m high risk and I’m doing my best to not panic. My kids don’t need to know my fears. I have autoimmune disorder and take immunosuppressants. I’ve been out three times. The dr office was the scariest visit for my son. I had to send my daughter in and they got hand sanitizer bathes in the parking lot. Hopefully, that prevents it.

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Deborah Cruz 2020/03/31 - 1:02 am

They are scary times. As long as we practice social distancing and stay at home as much as possible, we can help keep ourselves safe by flattening the curve. Stay healthy, friend.

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Doctor Gave Up Her Kids to Take Care of Coronavirus Patients 2020/04/02 - 3:01 pm

[…] READ ALSO: An Interview with a Doctor on the Front Lines of Coronavirus […]

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