This is Brian. He is a rural family doctor and emergency room physician.
“In a smaller town, we often end up caring for people we know personally. These are not just patients, but friends and co-workers too.
I have a patient whose wife contracted COVID. He himself is a high risk patient and had to manage his own health risks while also fearing greatly for her. He couldn’t visit her – family, friends, and myself were his only supports. Her condition took a rollercoaster course and she eventually passed away. I’ve seen this man battle lung cancer with so much strength, but I don’t know how he will manage this. How do you cope with not being able to see your life-partner when she is sick, when she is dying? I can’t imagine.
Not having adequate resources is my biggest fear. Although our town has been lucky to only have a handful of cases to date, our small hospital has battled to establish proper exam rooms to assess and treat suspected COVID patients. PPE, as in most facilities, has also been in short supply.
It would only take a few potential COVID patients in the ED at the same time to overwhelm us.
People say our healthcare workers are ‘heroes’ but I disagree. We work long exhausting hours, sacrifice time with our loved ones, and put ourselves in harm’s way all the time. The COVID pandemic is another example of what many of us do on a daily basis. I am very appreciative of all the kind words, but this is what you sign up for. This is our job and this is what we do.”