“It is too early to begin a comprehensive review of our response to the coronavirus here in the United States. We had warnings with HIV, SARS, MERS, H1N1, and Ebola, but we were not ready for COVID-19 — not even close”, says Dr. Shmorhun in the Washington Examiner.
I’m a family physician, busy revamping my entire practice in order to provide safe and effective medical care to patients fearful of the pandemic. Many of my patients are sick and experience symptoms of common illnesses that they would normally just tolerate; this time, they universally worry that they have been hit by the deadly coronavirus.
They need office visits for their existing medical problems, blood tests, physical examinations, colonoscopies. For now, they only get a televisit, plus a nasal swab in the parking lot if I suspect a coronavirus infection.
I’m stressed, but the heroic front-line EMTs, doctors, nurses, and hospital staff in New York and other hot spots are likely overwhelmed, exhausted, and emotionally spent. These people are saving as many lives as possible, but they are also expressing anger and frustration. They didn’t have the tests, supplies, or equipment they needed to do the work and protect themselves from the disease. What happened to the epidemic response plans, where were the supplies, and how did the government agencies responsible for our health and safety let this virus attack across our border without even enough masks and gloves?
There is too much to do to spend much time on anger. Our media should check their current outrage, honor the many heroes, and use their resources to help in the fight. We can’t stop to do a review of our response now, but we need to take contemporaneous notes of the deficiencies while we battle COVID-19. I have started my list from the perspective of a family physician and citizen. Others from their fields of expertise will do the same. I expect to be horrified to learn that the lists and recommendations from 2020 will precisely match lists from 1981, 2002, 2009, 2012, and 2014 — the years corresponding to previous viral outbreaks. We, as a nation, need to be better prepared. The public should demand it. Click to read the full article.