A frontline physician has a message for you

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To the people who say that wearing a mask perpetuates the conspiracy:

Tell that to the health care workers who have put their lives at risk to face firsthand an unknown disease. Tell that to the families of frontline workers who have contracted and succumbed to COVID-19 while their loved ones save everyone else.

To the people who say that COVID-19 does not exist; that COVID-19 is just another cold or flu:

Tell that to the families who did not have the opportunity to hold the hands of their loved ones as they passed; the families that had to say goodbye to their loved ones through a video chat or a phone call; the families who never dreamed that when they dropped their mothers, fathers, spouses, and siblings off at the ER, the next time they’d see them would be in a casket.

To the people who have made the pandemic a political issue that divides:

Tell that to the 125,000 Americans who have succumbed to an illness that knows no political parties, race, gender, or age.

To the people who call frontline workers heroes:

Please don’t. I, for one, did not pursue a career in medicine to be a hero and do not now wish to be one. Heroes face insurmountable odds and unknown villains with unique bravery. COVID-19 is not insurmountable and, in the right hands, is not unknown. We can take care of those patients safely without placing our lives and the lives of those around us at risk if we do not overwhelm our health care system.

Do not make us heroes by stacking the odds against us.

When facing an unknown challenge, it is possible only to do too much or not enough. The very nature of the unknown makes it impossible to respond in exactly the right way. When it comes to the health and wellbeing of family and friends, we must choose to do too much in the hopes of succeeding.

To the people who wonder when this will all be over:

Wear your mask. Do your part. Only then will the end be near.

The author is an anonymous physician.

Image credit: Shutterstock.com

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