coronavirus

‘Yes It’s Real’: Doctors Describe ‘Eerie’ Way COVID-19 Sickens Random People

"Our healthcare system is in survival mode," one doctor wrote

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What to Know

  • New York City doctors are actively taking to social media to describe the crisis situation in their emergency rooms
  • One doctor described a single night in a Manhattan ICU, taking care of 20 people on ventilators due to COVID-19
  • New York City is the U.S. epicenter of the global pandemic, with roughly 30 percent of the nation's cases

Even as President Trump insists New York has enough ventilators, implies medical supplies are disappearing out the back doors of hospitals and insists infections are days from peaking, doctors on the frontlines in the city are painting a very different - and much more grim - picture.

The death toll in New York City rose 14 percent in less than 8 hours on Sunday. More than 33,000 people in the city have the disease, and the system is so strained that a field hospital is being built in Central Park -- just like a scene out of a Hollywood apocalypse movie.

As the system creaks and buckles, doctors are taking to social media to share just how real the crisis is on the ground.

"#YESitsREAL that we physicians are used to taking care of patients with really lethal diseases but yet the unifying commonality of #COVID19 is 'I’ve NEVER seen anything like this,'" Ajay Kirtane, a New York Presbyterian cardiologist, tweeted Monday morning.

"YESitsREAL that I'd bet the chances are SLIM to NONE that we emerge from this without everyone in the US personally knowing someone who died due to #COVID19," Kirtane wrote. "I pray that I am wrong (and #YESitsREAL I don’t usually pray OR bet)."

Kirtane's full Twitter thread is below:

Kirtane was hardly alone in his assessment, though. Many healthcare workers took to Twitter in the past few hours to share the same view.

"Last night in the ICU of a #NYC hospital, I cared for 20 patients who were all on breathing machines due to #COVID19. Some REALLY young (20s), without comorbidities. Everyone is extremely sick. But sicker patients keep flooding in…," Prakriti Gaba, a doctor at Columbia University Medical Center, wrote.

"Hospital staff are exhausted & honestly - scared. Our healthcare system is in survival mode... ," she added. You can read her full thread here.

Amid the crisis, New York emergency rooms are taking to fabricating whatever protective supplies they can so doctors can protect themselves from possible exposure, even as they try to keep treating people.

New York City stands as the U.S. epicenter of the global pandemic, with roughly 30 percent of the country's cases and more than a quarter of its deaths.

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