“Fighting a War Without Weapons”: Doctors on the Covid Frontline

I am a health care worker fighting a war without weapons.

The SARS-COVID-19 Global Pandemic has decimated families, economies and life as we know it. We are here today, and not certain about tomorrow. The battle that we are facing daily has left many wounded and multiple casualties both young and old.

As a doctor, my heart breaks for my colleagues especially the newer ones who have never faced so much sickness and death. This has had a negative psychological effect on them.

For the more seasoned Heath Care Worker, they are left in awe and feel a sense of helplessness and hopelessness with no added salaries. This has been at the sacrifice of one’s time, talents and family time. Our commitment to save lives comes at great sacrifice and significant personal costs.

Many health care workers are so exhausted, they cannot report for their duty shifts. This leads to the already tired staff having to pick up the slack and do the work for 60-100 patients in clinical care.

We have been playing Russian roulette with our lives – some of us have gotten Covid and some may have died as well.

It has been physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting on all of us with a daily fear of possibly contracting Covid and passing on to our loved ones or colleagues. The battle we face is compounded by the emotional trauma of patients and relatives alike.

We see so much unneeded suffering and even death. So much pain and loss can be prevented by simply ensuring timely ambulance transport for positive patients.

We see what I call a “White Tent Syndrome” – fear of going to the white tents, and the fear of not returning.

I see so many of my patients wait to go to the Covid hospital hoping for a bed space. However, space is only made available when patients die rather than being discharged.

The horror stories of relatives and patients not being able to communicate nor know where they are, so much unnecessary stress, pain and suffering, has an effect on us as health workers as well.

We do not have to go through this pandemic this way.

I am vaccinated and I have seen in the majority of cases vaccine save lives. I urge all to get vaccinated as well.

Let us not forget each other, embrace each other with compassion.

– Dr. Rai Ragbir, MP for Cumuto/Manzanilla