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Arizona Doctor: “Wear a Mask!”

Arizona Doctor: “Wear a Mask!”
July 06
23:40 2020

The following is an essay written by a doctor in the Phoenix area, who simply wrote this piece in an attempt to get people to wear their masks!

Dr. Krista Ivy:

Dr. Krista Ivy

I am an Emergency Physician in the largest hospital network in Arizona. I work in an under-served area that has been hit particularly hard by this pandemic. I spend every shift in the center of COVID. I tell doctors from other specialties who walk through my department and voice concerns about the lack of COVID contact precautions that they have entered the original COVID unit in the hospital and that you must assume that everyone here has it.

I cannot tell you how many lives I have seen destroyed by COVID. Three of the first four hours of one of my shifts this week were spent in the intensive care unit attempting to save the life of a patient with COVID who ultimately died. I put these patients on life support nearly every time I go to work. Despite this, less than 10% of those who end up on life support live.

This virus is particularly contagious and spreads before people are symptomatic. It continues to mutate and change. The current version in the US is more contagious than the virus that was prevalent in Europe just a couple of months ago. Many people who are carrying the virus have no symptoms at all. This week alone I have admitted several patients whose only symptoms were gastrointestinal; vomiting and diarrhea. The pneumonia and hypoxia (low oxygen) were incidental findings. This illness can present itself as a headache, nausea and most dangerously for others, asymptomatic.

Many people don’t know anyone who has had the illness. But it is here. I will tell you that COVID is no respecter of persons. A young and healthy Emergency Physician colleague of mine nearly lost his life to it. I’ve transferred a 12 month old with complications related to the virus. Last week we withdrew care from one of our local health care workers. I have seen multi-generational families infected within days; losing both grandparents in less than 48 hours. Two weeks ago I placed a healthy person in their 30’s on the ventilator and he was dead within an hour. I’ve also seen a nearly 90 year old survive it but come back with complication after complication including heart attack and stroke. Last weekend I cried when I admitted a man in his 80’s who cares for his wife who is wheelchair bound. He only goes out to get groceries and take his wife to the doctor.

My point is, there is no cure for this. We do not know who will have a bad outcome. The virus continues to spread rapidly in Arizona and there is no end in sight. Although the governor says our hospitals have beds, I can tell you we do not. We do not have the personnel or resources to staff them. Every shift I work, I am holding admitted COVID patients in my Emergency Department. There is a state surge transfer line, but there are no beds.

There is so much paranoia and conspiracy theory circulating regarding this virus. This is a pandemic. Historically, the world has pandemics. They are not man-made or manufactured. They are not a political ploy. They kill people; a lot of people. In the influenza pandemic of the early 1900’s the spread was not slowed until people wore masks and washed hands and a whole lot of people died. And then we got a vaccine.

We have no cure or vaccine for this particular Coronavirus. What we do have are masks. They are proven to protect you and others and slow the spread of the virus. In the words of one of my favorite attendees from Residency, “Masks are just a new twist on an old concept. Your right to fire a gun ends one mile from an occupied structure. Your right to swing your fist ends at another person’s nose. Your right to spew your germs ends six feet from another person. Simple. It’s the right thing to do.”

Help me help you. Wear a mask.

Arizona Doctor: “Wear a Mask!” - overview

Summary: Arizona Doctor: "Wear a Mask!"


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