I guess the question becomes- It was named COVID 19 for the year it emerged. As it mutates to 2021- will that strain mitigate all of our current and previous efforts to defeat it?
There is no real answer to that question, but as frontline responders, Perfusionists are taking more than their share of risk, and doing so with caution but not surrendering to fear. No longer is there any doubt that we will all be exposed- and I’m certain that most of us have- multiple times. And yes, we see our colleagues taking some hits. Whether it is is my friend Chelsea constantly being on point to assume the greatest risk to protect her staff, or the resident in the heart room that tests positive, is relived in the middle of a case, having most certainly been infectious during the week prior- to any possible number of colleagues they engaged with. The clarion cry of “Universal Precautions” as an admonition and almost scolding reminder that it is our duty to constantly protect ourselves, and ignores the basic human instinct to trust the one’s your with- letting down your guard when engaging with medical colleagues in a non-clinical setting.
So people start to rationalize and engage in “Risk Management”. All of a sudden, being near an infected colleague, or patient that after the fact is diagnosed to have been positive to COVID when we operated on them- that becomes labeled as a “non-exposure risk event” but feel free to notify someone if you become symptomatic in the next 7 days?
To me that sums up with absolute clarity that we have become rudderless. A ship without a sail, because all of us know that it’s basically luck of the draw at this point. Masks and hand washing absolutely help, and to quarantine everyone that has had exposure to a Covid patient would dismantle and paralyze our entire health system.
So you engage the process has an enemy to be confronted, label it as being truly what it is- “a War” and try to minimize your casualties.
You keep resupplying the man power and the survivors of the first round, become the fighters for the second.
And then you bring in fresh troops- like this guy- Zach- who shows no fear 🙂
Tomorrow is NEVER PROMISED- but what we do Today will help even the odds.
Below are some pictures of your heros– all wok in the open heart arena together as a team, or are part of their families 🙂
The COVID Wars: Frontline Perfusion