Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Doctors' battle cry: “We can’t let COVID win.”


That was almost 18 months ago expressing a commitment to take "care of the infected and the critically ill when no one else would." And they did, when at times it looked as if everything was against them. This is the story of Thanh Neville, M.D., M.S.H.S., is an ICU physician and researcher at UCLA Health. She is also the medical director of the UCLA 3 Wishes Program so she understands dying patients. What she doesn't understand is the refusal of the unvaccinated. 

Dr. Neville recounts how it was and is on the frontlines...

"We reused N95 masks, carefully placing them in labeled brown paper bags in between shifts. We witnessed lonely deaths and held up iPads for families to say their heartbreaking goodbyes. We created elaborate backup schedules and neglected our personal lives. We stepped up during surges and when our colleagues fell ill."

But she and her fellow physicians stuck together to fight an enemy not seen since the flu epidemic of 2018. And there were deficiencies like personal protective equipment for the staff where some got sick, then some died, "more than 3,600 from COVID-19 in the first year." And during this period, most of the emphasis was on patient deaths, but the health care industry plodded along doing what they knew must be done to save Americans from this new deadly virus.

And because of the severity of the situation, it was necessary to quarantine ourselves in order to protect our loved ones...

"We counted the risk factors of our children, our elderly parents, our spouses, and came up with our own formulas to decide whether to come home at the end of the shift or hole up in a hotel room."

Vaccines were finally introduced across the U.S. and there was hope. Cases did take a sharp turn down giving workers a brief respite. But the Delta variant snuck in the back door with a sizable transmissibility that knocked the health care folks and their patients right out of their socks. The unvaccinated, led on by anti-vaxxers and a hoard of misinformation, had turned a large portion of the population against the vaccines to add to the problem. Dr. Neville became angry.

She's mad at those who refuse to get vaccinations. Most all of the vaccination

Dr. Thanh Neville
population is, and we are fast becoming tired of the anti-vaxxer excuses and whining about their freedom and how they are being persecuted. The doc is most angry over the misinformation with specifics on the virus that misleads people and jeopardizes their health. She attacks those not considered anti-vaxxers but resist the decision to get vaccinated...

"Although such individuals do not consider themselves anti-vaxxers, their inaction itself is a decision — a decision to not protect themselves or their families, to fill a precious ICU bed, to let new variants flourish, and to endanger the health care workers and immunosuppressed people around them. Their inaction is a decision to let this pandemic continue to rage."

Dr. Neville finishes with the following...

"I am at a loss to understand how anyone can look at these past months of the pandemic — more than 600,000 lives lost in the U.S. and more than 4 million worldwide — and not believe it’s real or take it seriously."

There is no doubt there is maximum agreement between all of us who are and have been vaccinated for months. In case you haven't checked recently, here are the latest USA figures on the coronavirus...

Coronavirus Cases: 36,951,577

Deaths: 634,998


Read Dr. Neville's article in full, here.

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