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Tales of Coronavirus in Ohio From the Lens of an Educator and a Physician

Everyday I find myself glued to Governor Dewine’s Daily Press Conference. This is the new normal. Dr. Amy Acton and Governor Dewine and Lt. Governor Husted have become regulars in my life….

Today 867 Confirmed Cases and 15 Deaths.

A little about us: B is critical care physician in Central Ohio and I am a K-12 Educator. I am a blogger and social influencer; B does not really love social media; so I limit B’s exposure on social media per his request.

Last week one of B’s colleagues was exposed to Coronavirus. At the time it was one of the first cases in Ohio. For me, it hit like 9/11 and reminded me of a scene out of Outbreak. For two weeks, we have watched Washington State and New York get hit hard, but for it to happen here..made it real quickly..

B works critical care and always sees the sickest of patients. I am used to consistent stories about those who pull through and the sad days when nothing more can be done. The relationships of medical personnel with patients and their families creates bonds and emotionally I know it takes a toll….

After B’s friend got the call that he was exposed to the virus- That day, our lives changed. The way we interact, the way we use the house, and the way we co-exist. For a couple days, I was still working and consistently thinking…when will B be exposed; when will the test come back with a patient of his…will he be ready? Will he have notice? Will he get it anyway?

I stopped working at the office Tuesday and B continues to be on the front line. Watching the news today in New York – CNN – refrigerator truck was taking the bodies out of the hospital…to store them and New Orleans had 18 deaths. Today, we surpassed Italy with the most CoVID-19 cases and deadliest single day in the US with 237 – this will continue to rise. Announcements of more medical personnel deaths out of Italy cause some concern…

@autonomous.ai

Our new normal. Scrubs in the garage, immediate shower upon entry, hand washing and cleaning all surfaces, 6 feet distance, different areas of the fridge, freezer, and different bathrooms and shower. Even down to seeing the dogs, B has limited interaction to keep them safe as well.

My day begins with a temperature check. No symptoms. Good. ✅ My new normal is getting up at regular time; cleaning for 45 minutes, showering, then logging online and getting started with my own work, lunch break, quick text to B to see how he is doing and words of positivity, and throw in some laundry, work google hangout, phone calls, and conclude the work day with some research.

B gets up and goes through his routine. Checks his temperature ✅ Knowing that the resources are running scarce; it is scary. Every night, B is reading articles on Scarce Resources and Public Health and working to solve potential problems before it explodes here.

There are thousands of people serving the healthcare systems and this story is no different than others.

I wonder, how long before they go without gloves, masks, shields, and gowns? How long before the vents are all taken? Where is the best place to go? When should you seek medical help; the balance of going too soon or too late….

Nightly, B talks about the potential cases and confirmed cases and the overwhelmed system as it is. While there are areas of limiting PPE – such as moving the ventilator and IVs out of the room and into the hallway, limiting specialists who enter the rooms, and figuring out possible ventilator options and mask covers. Changes within the healthcare system such as elective surgeries cancelled and surgeons actively taking on physician roles are becoming commonplace.

B selflessly works as a servant and he has already told me, I won’t quit. I will not leave patients without care. We watch the news in Italy and he talks with colleagues around the country and I know- he is at risk. B grew up in New York and his sister is outside the city; we pray nightly for her and I know some nurses, doctors, staff, respiratory therapists, admission staff; will become infected. They may die and are still willing to push forward. They are the 2020 version of firefighters – literally going into an inferno hoping to save as many as possible knowing any day could take them as well.

Vague promises about testing and ventilators – still not readily available for use are critical concerns.

Our governor, Mike Dewine; Lt Governor, Jon Husted, and Dr. Amy Acton are leaders and have our utmost respect and believe they are really doing everything in their power to “flatten the curve” – learning from New York and tragedies in Italy is humbling. Two places that I love dearly and pray for them nightly. I think back to when my dad was sick with the flu and passed away. We had daily visits and my mom lived at the hospital hoping he would get better…my heart breaks for families who cannot visit their sick loved ones and cannot spend final days saying goodbye. Weddings, funerals, birthdays, and life as we know it; has changed and will not be the same. Grief and the process of loss without answers only makes the anxiety worse for the sick and for the families of the sick.

I hope Ohians, Americans, and people of the world – stay home and do as needed to get back to our lives.

I sat watching Dr. Phil talking with the girl who licked the toilet seat on a plane to show Coronavirus is fake – and I was appalled and saddened by the sheer disrespect and disregard for human life. When asked about staying home and making good choices – she flat out said – it was not her problem and oh well if you get sick. I personally believe that we are all in this together and we all need to think others. Millenials are the key to this virus stopping; more than ever need to stay home- self quarantine and do their part so Life can resume quickly and we can all go back to the aspects we all enjoy.

As I reflect on the last week, I miss going to restaurants, miss seeing my family and miss doing what I want. While those things are important to me, I am thankful and blessed to be able to talk with them by phone and facetime; talk with colleagues through google hangouts.

B just came in and has 3 confirmed patients – more testing going on; having to prioritize those who get the tests and B let me know that hospitals will be getting a 6 hour test that will speed up the testing process. B also shared that Dyson made a ventilator today so that is good news…so some positive news coming in today…

Life is not comfortable…life is not convenient…stay home…flatten the curve…❤️

When I asked B what people can do to help:

1. Stay Home

2. Stay Home

3. Donate unused N95 masks and gloves.

Stay tuned for more on Life with Coronavirus in Ohio.

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