Letter: We are no longer on the front line
When Madera Community Hospital was the first Central Valley healthcare system to care for a COVID-19 positive patient in March of 2020, we reassured you; “we are on the front line.” We promoted our clinical expertise and medical training to provide you with confidence and a trusted local source of information.
From the beginning, we asked you to follow the guidance for reducing the spread of COVID-19 knowing your actions would ultimately save lives. We wrote letters to the editor and held weekly community briefings to reinforce the science on ways to “flatten the curve.”
We dispelled rumors and opened your hearts to the devastating mental health impact of the pandemic. We have spent hours counseling our colleagues and even more hours caring for anxious and often very sick patients. Over the course of caring for nearly 900 patients with COVID-19, we grew increasingly concerned about patients who delayed coming to the ER out of fear of contracting the “virus.” Unfortunately, many of these patients waited too long.
We have had access to all the COVID-19 diagnostic tools and treatments found in major medical centers. Our hospital and patients have benefited from financial gifts, providing new technology to ease the impact of hospitalization and improve clinical outcomes. And yet, we have had to deliver record breaking, gut wrenching news to 48 families of patients who lost their battle against COVID-19.
After 10 months of reassuring you, it is evident, we are no longer on the front line of this virus — you are.
Our clinical training cannot cure the current economic sickness or the eroding mental health of our youth and seniors. It is your turn to fight against the virus. We ask you to do the right thing, not the ‘personal right’ thing. Please:
• Wear a face covering when out in public.
• Do not gather unless you are outdoors, wearing mask or a minimum of 6 feet apart.
• Wash your hands frequently.
• Get the seasonal flu vaccination.
With you on the front line, working to stop the spread of COVID-19, we are hopeful. Hopeful that your dedication will bring much physical and economic health in 2021.
— Terrance McGovern, DO
Board Certified Emergency Medicine
Medical Director, Emergency Services
— Ali Rashidian, MD
Board Certified Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine, Critical Care Medicine
Medical Director, Inpatient Services
— Bakht Roshan, MD
Board Certified Infection Disease
Chair, COVID-19 Medical Staff Taskforce