COVID-19: We’re All in This Together

by
  • Agarwal, Rita, MD, FAAP, FASA
| Mar 30, 2020

Agarwal-RitaAt the California Society of Anesthesiologists, as with each of your practices, we are beyond blessed to be surrounded by talented, dedicated colleagues who are stepping up to provide leadership, service, guidance and counsel to their colleagues and communities during this challenging time.

I am pleased and proud to refer you to two recent blogs published by two CSA leaders – Sunny Jha, MD of the USC Keck School of Medicine and Edward Mariano, MD, MAS, of the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System.  I know they will both inform and inspire you, as they did me.

Today is National Doctors' Day. Today our visibility and value has never been greater. Today, we need to be more cognizant of our role as caretaker and advocate for our patients. We need to look out for our nurses, techs, and environmental health  services. Especially our environmental health services - thank them for coming to work every day, for bringing us hand sanitizer, soap, emptying the trash, cleaning the OR, cleaning the patient rooms, cleaning the equipment we use, cleaning the door knobs, the counters, the floors, the walls, the anesthesia machine, and doing it while they are often just as scared and confused as we are.

Today we need to lead by example. Everyone in the OR looks to us, for reassurance, for information, for calm, for guidance, for rational behavior, and for excellent clinical care at a time of increased anxiety. Today is National Doctors' Day and we need to be the heroes the country deserves.

This is an unprecedented time, one that has been the subject of countless books, movies (usually science fiction), op-eds, scientific articles, simulations, political planning documents and fear.

My personal motto “We Are All in This Together”,  has never been more true than it is right now. I am constantly amazed by the ingenuity, creativity, and compassion of all the physicians I work with. We are lucky where I work, in that we have adequate personal protective equipment (for now), but I understand the fear that drives others to look at modifying products (HEPA  filter on a snorkeling mask?). My Facebook feed is filled with options to repurpose other equipment to create DYI face shields, N95 masks or Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPR).

Like all of you, I feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of both official and unofficial information that I receive every day in my email, social media, mail, and from friends and colleagues. In an attempt to provide, reliable, up-to-date and relevant information, CSA has created a resource page with curated articles and information.

The page is updated daily, and will undergo regular revision and reorganization. This page includes links to California Public Health departments, for important local and regional information. It also includes the well-known national sites, scientific articles, news articles, webpages, and blogs.

We welcome your contributions, suggestions, and concerns. Please reach out to me at agarwalr@stanford.edu if you have any questions. 

Today is National Doctors' Day and #WeAreAllinThisTogether. 

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