Urgent plea for adequate protective equipment for US healthcare workers fighting COVID-19

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Urgent plea from US physician and concerned citizen: We, the healthcare workers of America -- doctors and nurses, as well as patient transport, ER registration, environmental services and all who stand with us and are bravely going to work during this dark time -- are facing a potentially catastrophic reality, and it is scaring us.

COVID-19 has hit our shores all over the country, and patients are arriving en masse to the doors of our clinics and emergency rooms. As we prepare to fight this new virus, we are perplexed as to why why very few have access adequate and safe personal protective equipment (PPE). The speed and precision that this virus has traveled around the world is alarming to anyone and everyone, but especially to us.

Our physician colleagues in China and Italy have hazmat suits and PAPR respirators, or, at minimum, an N95 mask. Meanwhile, far too many of us are panicking about what to do next, and some of us are even using our own Lysol to reuse surgical face masks. We are sharing, improvising, and being creative, but is NOT what is recommended by scientists. N95 masks are now sold out on Amazon but were $49.99 - $99.99 a pop for a few minutes. My best friend (also a physician) and I are sharing supplies and our combined resources consist of our two travel-sized bottles of Purel hand sanitizer, Lysol wipes, and bleach, which we have diluted. There is no national stockpile reserved for times like this. 

This is not an episode of Black Mirror, it is our reality right now. We don't often hear this in the American media, but many young healthcare professionals in China and Italy have died because of this virus, even in spite of adequate PPE. We, the healthcare workers across America, are human beings and not robots. We have families, friends, and people who love us. If we fall like dominoes, what will happen next? 

We are the soldiers and first line of defense against COVID-19, but we are treated so poorly.  In times of crisis, we are stepping up to the plate and standing for what's right to serve our country. But this is how we are valued and that is disappointing and saddening. Adequate PPE is not currently available.

We urgently need this and time is running out. This is an emergency plea for help to anyone who can pitch in :( 

#COVIDwarriors #coronaviruswarriors #patientcarewarriors #pandemic #wecandothis #hanginthere #dotherightthing #unity #humanity #empathy