I am overwhelmed right now. I know I am not alone. I hear it in the voices of my friends, family, colleagues, patients. We are all feeling it. I am overwhelmed by this virus. There is so much to learn, so much to teach. Every day the information changes. Who is credible? Who is just shouting the loudest? It can be hard to ...

Read more...

I am sitting on my living room floor, my back to the living room sofa, a sense of dread overcoming me as I realize that my call to 911 may be too late. I hear her muted voice with periodic pauses that allow her to catch her breath. All I can do is say, “I am still here with you. They will get to you soon.” And then I hear, ...

Read more...

To suggest that the impact of the novel coronavirus has been nothing short of devastating – from a health perspective, to the economy, to basic social interaction – would be the most striking understatement of the decade.  Daily media viewing over the course of the last two months has seen virtually nothing but bad news – sickness and death, trillion-dollar relief programs, millions out of work, businesses lost, growing tensions ...

Read more...

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the structure of many people’s households has changed dramatically. Young adults who were away at college had to return home when schools closed, and many will still be at home this fall as schools continue to limit on-campus classes. Some people chose to move in with family after job loss strained their finances. And some families chose to temporarily move older relatives out ...

Read more...

I am exhausted. I’m a physician in the suburbs of Houston. The latest COVID-19 infection rates in the Houston area show a steep increase in rates since reopening in May. And it’s still rising. As an infectious diseases physician in the middle of this whole COVID-19 pandemic, and as a mom of 2, here’s why I’m tired: 1. Working almost every day (weekends included) since this March at multiple hospitals and in ...

Read more...

COVID. What is it to me? A sense of growing dread for primary care providers everywhere, whose patient panels read like a list of future dead. Diabetes, obesity, heart disease, emphysema. The reality is most people have no idea how close to devastation our medical system is at most times. How many times was the hospital of my residency on diversion due to staffing or available beds? How many times ...

Read more...

Diseases do not have political or religious beliefs. They are equal opportunity haters. Yes, some diseases will have an affinity for a particular gender, race, age group, but never will they affect your body based on your political ideologies. However, the way our health care systems deal with diseases will intersect with our political leaders, their beliefs, political views, and ideologies. Let’s take female reproductive health care as an example. ...

Read more...

It’s never easy to lose someone you love. Imagine not being able to be at their bedside or say goodbye in person. Imagine losing them and not being able to have more than ten people at their funeral ... if you are even able to have a funeral. There is no hugging, no tears wiped away, just the same feelings of loss without the human touch of comfort. For thousands ...

Read more...

As I reflect on Independence Day, I think of soldiers that sacrificed their own lives for others – present and future.  They knew what they were facing, and yet, continued to push forward.  They imperfectly led our nation through unprecedented waters with wisdom and perseverance. Today, we find ourselves in unprecedented waters - questioning our country, our leaders, our friends, and our doctors.  Breaking silence, I am answering the question, ...

Read more...

  "Faced with the prospect of not being able to provide all COVID-19 patients with the life support that they may need, physicians and nurses are working in conditions that have been described as 'hell.' How are providers to cope with the trauma they are experiencing in New York and Italy, and presumably other nations as well? How are they to cope with ...

Read more...

In polarizing politics, it seems that somehow the greater good often misses the very grain that comes together and makes it great — the people. After we blindfolded ourselves to a warning from China and then Italy, New York witnessed the grinding impact of COVID-19.  Merely two months later, many other states are showing unprecedented growth in cases.  Surpassing 2.5 million cases, we have officially unflattened the curve.  Our failed ...

Read more...

The daily email update on COVID-19 affecting our hospital system is a glaring reflection of the health disparities amongst those in marginalized groups. The farther south you go, generally in San Diego, the higher the number of socioeconomically disadvantaged persons, and that tends to include a disproportionate number of persons of color.  These populations may be unable to physically distance due to living conditions and job conditions.  Perhaps there is ...

Read more...

"As women physicians, especially physician moms and women physicians of color, we have handled and achieved more than the vast majority of the population, in order to reach our current status of physician. We do because we can. We are Superwomen. Until we’re not. Without thought, we take on others’ responsibilities, because we can. In addition to our own personal responsibility to ourselves and to ...

Read more...

I never thought that I would resign with my last day of work being the same day of my resignation. In fact, I did everything in my power to stay at my job, but the job didn't want me to stay. COVID brought a sharp focus on the difference between my goals and my employer's goals. The meatpacking plants made my town a COVID hotspot. To minimize patient COVID exposure, we ...

Read more...

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 ...

Read more...

Public health has never been more important. As the coronavirus waxes and wanes, it is crucial that our evolving understanding of COVID-19 translate into our everyday lives. Our collective response to the virus will be much improved with an acknowledgment that our scientific knowledge is dynamic, and that we may have to alter our behaviors as scientists unearth more information about the virus’s transmissibility and lethality. Nowhere is this evolving understanding ...

Read more...

"Death is not meant to be rushed. Saying goodbye shouldn’t be rushed. Celebrating a life once lived cannot be rushed. And yet, we must. Taking a moment, a minute, an hour, maybe a day to feel something that normally takes far longer. Because we must. And in our hearts, the grief remains. Frozen in time in this state of mourning that ...

Read more...

It was a Thursday. It was supposed to be one of those “regular” evening shifts. Then, at 6:15 p.m., my first page went off: Bed 11, Mrs. R., Dr. H. needs to talk to you. The page came from the COVID section of the emergency department. I immediately called back. It saddened me when I learned that our patient was a young woman health care worker in her early 50s. She ...

Read more...

"Over the last 100 years, the U.S. has had to respond to five avian flu pandemics. The most severe was the 1918 avian influenza infecting 1/3 of the world’s population and killing 650,000 Americans. It was also the last time wide-spread containment, mitigation, and isolation strategies were used in the U.S. Seldom mentioned about the 1918 pandemic are the three 'waves' ...

Read more...

"The unparalleled and pervasive nature of the evolving COVID-19 pandemic has touched all of us in some way. There is limited, albeit growing, research on the mental health effects of disasters.  A recent review article pointed out the potentially negative consequences of prolonged quarantine, while other research from Wuhan, China, highlighted the impact of COVID-19, particularly amongst healthcare personnel. Psychiatrists and mental health professionals will play a ...

Read more...

64 Pages

Most Popular

✓ Join 150,000+ subscribers
✓ Get KevinMD's most popular stories