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COVID-19 Letter #3 by a local Medical Practitioner

I’m writing this letter in the hopes that by voicing my opinion as an emergency room medical practitioner, I will inspire you to resume aggressive social distancing practices which are critical to the well being of this community.

I work in a local hospital with hands-on experience treating COVID19 patients. This is the third letter I am sending out for the benefit of the community after working with many COVID-19 patients – watching the numbers grow very quickly, and seeing patients who are getting very sick.

I am following on the tail of the letter from local Rabbonim urging caution for anyone with symptoms or exposed to sick people, the recent letter from 15 local Doctors – urging mask wearing and social distancing, and several others from other community Askanim.

The urgency to write this letter is first: seeing how quickly this virus is once again spreading through our community; and second, that I feel the community as a whole (with exceptions) seem to not be taking it seriously, and have a flippant attitude towards this devastating virus. I fear that we will very soon be seeing names on TLS with those horrible 3 letters after them: BDE. I am writing because there are things that we can do to help prevent and or reduce this tragedy that is at our front door.

As a child, I heard a story of a town where the king was visiting. They agreed to prepare a gift for the king – a huge vat of wine. Each town person was obligated to bring one bottle of wine and pour it into the vat. Yossel the tailor decided that with such a huge vat, nobody would notice if one bottle was water, so he put water instead of wine. Moshe the shoemaker had the same thought, etc. When the king came, he tasted the “wine”, but alas it was water.

Each person may be thinking that there will be some cure or outside solution, but at this point the only thing we know is that prevention can help. But everyone has to contribute.

Here are some simple guidelines to help prevent the spread:

  • Assume that everyone might have it (20% are asymptomatic and most people will not have any symptoms for a few days after they contact it) – so take precautions with everyone.

  • Outdoors is safer than indoors – if you must be with other people – do it outdoors.

  • Exposure to less people is safer than more people – avoid crowds, but larger crowds are greater danger.

  • Less time is safer than more time – limit the time of exposure.

  • Masks are safer than no masks – so if you need to be near people – wear a mask – properly – over mouth and nose. (Cloth are good, surgical give better protection, KN95, N95 are best).

  • Children and young adults are less likely to be symptomatic but can spread it, and are more likely to – since they often won’t complain of symptoms.

I can’t address every argument and question people have, nor do I have all the answers. These are the guidelines set by the country’s biggest experts on infectious disease, people who have trained many years and had many years experience with them.

To finish, I will echo the words of the Rabbonim: we need to daven and to Teshuvah! This has been a humbling experience for all of us, medical experts included – Hashem reminding us that He is in control and not us. This is merely our Hishtadlus, but it should not be taken lightly – because if we do it’s a near certainty that lives will be lost and people will get very sick. Please inconvenience yourselves, get out of your comfort zones, and be a part of the solution to help save lives. Gmar Chasima Tova!

Sincerely, Anonymous Local Medical Practitioner

*Here are some sources regarding the efficacy of mask wearing (several people have commented asking if it’s been proven to help).

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32497510/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32785565/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18612429/

*Previously there were those who questioned my submitting this anonymously. As I mentioned before, due to restrictions from my workplace, I am unable to give my name. I’m sure some people will get hung up on that, and I can’t force you to believe that I am who I say I am. I can only give you my word that it’s the truth.

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There are 24 Comments to "COVID-19 Letter #3 by a local Medical Practitioner"

  • Avi says:

    A letter without a name is worthless

    • M says:

      Avi-Most employers (especially hospitals) have Social Media policies that don’t allow their employees to post ANYTHING health related online, hence this provider isn’t signing his name.

      • Trust says:

        Like M. said, a hospital can and most certainly will fire someone for posting online in connection with the hospital name. Tghe articles and source this writer is citing are a very good indication that this writer is a health professional.

        Chatima Tova! May all be healthy and well mask or no mask!!!! (better with mask tho :)).

        • Steve says:

          Who said he has to post the letter “in connection with the hospital’s name?” Let him post it in his own name and clearly state that the letter reflects his own professional opinion and NOT the opinion of his employee. This is done all the time in journalism and everywhere else. It is a free country . Everyone can say whatever they want as long as it is not misrepresented. Your reply as to why this doctor has chosen to hide behind the veil of anonymity is a garbage response.

          • A concerned Lakewood citizen says:

            It’s interesting how you assume he has nefarious intentions by hiding his name rather than taking his word that his hospital has a policy – as many institutions do – of now allowing employees to post medical advice in public forums using their names. I for one don’t know why you’d jump to that conclusion instead of taking his word for his motivations. It’s a bit odd frankly. Not sure what you think his evil intentions are.

    • A Concerned Lakewood Citizen says:

      Don’t be silly. Why does that make a difference? Are you doubting his credentials? Do you think he’s masquerading as an ER practitioner just to pull the wool over our eyes and fool us into thinking we should trust him? He certainly sounds pretty legit to me, and it seems PRETTY EXTREME to me to suspect him of making this all up.

      I also want to point out that he states explicitly why he isn’t sharing his name in the last paragraph. His workplace does not allow him to share his name, probably because this is not the OFFICIAL message from the hospital. this is very normal hospital policy. Does that mean his information is any less reliable than if he shared his name?

  • avraham says:

    Thank you so much for this wonderful letter.
    Thank you so much for willing to be an active Medical Practitioner during this crisis.

  • Mim says:

    Thank you so much for all your hard work and effort. We appreciate it all!

  • Good letter says:

    @Avi,
    You left your name, and it didn’t stop your remark from being completely useless…

  • A Concerned Lakewood Citizen says:

    Thank you for this well worded, thoughtful letter. I completely agree with your comments about each person playing a role, and each person needing to do their part to protect the klal. It boggles my mind that our schools and yeshivas are not following the guidelines being set by medical practitioners and scientists. Enforcing masks and social distancing, enforcing the policy of kids staying home if family members are positive, etc. These are simple precautions that could really help contain this terrible mageifa. Thank you for speaking your thoughts and for your efforts to help people who are sick during this time. A Gut Yar.

  • Local medical practitioner says:

    is this a local medical practitioner that is on the front lines? Please advise.

    • Reading Comprehension Advisor says:

      Obviously, you did not get beyond the first paragraph.

      Paragraph 2) “I work in a local hospital with hands-on experience treating COVID19 patients”

  • Listen to Drs. Zelenko, Risch, Immanuel, and others. says:

    Dr. Zelenko’s protocol is close to 100% successful in preventing hospitalizations and death in high risk covid patients.
    It has been reported that ivorvectin? can be substituted for the hydroxychloroquine.

  • Anonymous local medical practitioner says:

    @local medical practitioner. Yes. I work in an ER in the Lakewood area. I’m on the frontlines treating patients.

  • Dan says:

    While it may all be true, mental health can be just as or more important than physical health. We have been at this for six months.

    • Anonymous MedicalPractitioner says:

      @Dan. I believe I addressed this issue in a previous post. I don’t doubt that there are mental health issues, financial, and loads of other problems coming as a result of the COVID19 crisis. These are challenging problems to deal with, and must be handled by the intelligent and flexible people we are. If one feels cooped up inside, go hiking (my wife and I hiked all around NJ), go for walks, use your backyard, play board games, read books, have phone conversations, zoom, whatever works. You can go to therapists or psychiatrists as needed, some are doing virtual meetings. I don’t believe that one has to have a social gathering like a party, go to five stores for Yom Tov, or any other large social gatherings that add risk and danger, and I certainly don’t see why wearing a mask should affect one’s mental health. I’ve been wearing one for several months, and some people still think I’m sane.

  • correction says:

    To the person who wrote ivorvectin? — did you mean quercetin (with zinc)?
    All these guidelines are helpful. There are many more from the natural health community — get yourself educated. At the very least take vitamin c, d, zinc every day and eat lemon and garlic.

  • Steve says:

    Masks don’t work. It’s either a full lock down or nothing.

    If masks work, why was there a full two month lock down mandated by the state a few months ago? Why not just mask?

    Why are there over 40,000 cases of covid-19 being diagnosed PER DAY across the United States when the vast majority of Americans are strictly following Uncle Sam’s orders? Telling me that most Americans are not following the order to mask is blatant lie. It’s trying to twist the facts to fit your agenda. 97-99% of goyim I encounter are masking. And it’s not helping.

    So why don’t we mask here in Lakewood? Because we believe in science, not in junk science (even when an anonymous doctor is the one spreading it).

    • Anonymous MedicalPractitioner says:

      Sigh. This is getting old. Honestly, I can’t possibly answer every Tom, Steve, and Harry who has his own theories and solution to this global pandemic that is killing many and hospitalizing even more. I trust the intelligent readers and members of the community to decide who’s advice to take. They can listen to… Steve. Or… to the CDC, the organization who has the top experts in the country who have years experience and training in infectious disease control, the doctors, PAs, nurses, etc. who you have all been coming to all your lives for medical treatment and advice, (and who are treating the sick COVID19 patients now). Or, of course there’s… Steve again.

    • round 2 says:

      Steve, I guess your Mother never told you to cover your mouth or nose?

    • Simcha says:

      Masks work. If you really don’t think so, ask yourself how safe you’ll feel the next time you need surgery and when you get wheeled into the OR all the staff there is not masked.

      The reason why the virus continues to spread is because people are NOT masking when it most counts – when they are in close gatherings.

      It is also key to remember that masks (especially the blue cheap surgical ones) are meant to protect people from YOU. So you are only protected when all people around you are masked.

      Unfortunately I heard of a case of a very careful person who attended a wedding with a mask contracted COVID and is now very sick. I would bet that no one else at that wedding was masked which is probably why he caught it.

      You need to mask. You need to makes sure others around you are masked and then we can stop the spread.

  • Masks says:

    Masks work when they are worn properly. Not like I see most people who do not cover their nose or remove the mask to talk. Also, masks do not protect against what a person touches, public surfaces, then their cell phone, and then their face. Masks are not the problem, its not using it correctly and not taking other precautions with ones hands and phone, etc.