9 years ago, I recited the Hippocratic Oath, and two sections have always stuck with me:
“Into whatsoever houses I enter, I will enter to help the sick” and “I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk.”
The events over the last couple of weeks have affected me deeply. Of course, I’m concerned about a novel virus that killing patients. But, I’ve been more distraught over the reaction of the people, the response of the state and federal governments, the blatant disregard of science/epidemiology, and the warnings of physicians in other countries on the front lines.
Most of us will get this virus and be OK. But slowing it down is 100 percent vital. Why? Because our health care system has limited resources. We only have so many hospital beds in this country and, only 62,000 ventilators. If the forecasted numbers of infected Americans reach the projected numbers, we will have no choice but to ration those resources. This means a physician will forced to choose who gets a chance to live and who does not. This is the reality in other countries right now.
I was lucky enough to have trained at a wonderful hospital, loved my ICU months as a resident, and learned from the best critical care doctors out there. I will enter this fight with guns blazing. But, I will do so with a heavy heart, because it will be because people didn’t want to change their routines. I will risk my health, life, and family because people didn’t want to be inconvenienced to cancel their play dates, parties, weddings, bar hopping, travel, date nights, workouts … the list goes on.
Last night, Gov Newsom finally announced a shelter in place in California. Stay home, I entreat you, America. For the sake of us all. Even if your state is not restricting your movement, please stay home. This is not for the long term. This is not an infringement on your rights. This is a pandemic, plain and simple. This is an international crisis. This is a moment in humanity that we are all in together. Will you rise to the occasion?
I stayed at work for you, will you stay at home for us?