Doctor: stay in and save lives
A critical-care doctor is pleading with the public to help save lives by staying at home during the coronavirus crisis.
Annie Pinto, of Bermuda Pain Services, in Paget, posted a video on social media this week with a heartfelt message.
Dr Pinto said: “Let's follow the example of some countries that have gone through this pandemic with higher survival rates. What did they do differently? They followed very strict isolation measurements.
“We don't need a government to tell us this has to be mandatory. We have to use our common sense. Let's stay six feet apart. Let's wash our hands, stay home, don't go out.” She added: “Stay at home. You don't need to go anywhere else. Let us do our job and let's save lives together. Let's go, Bermuda.”
Dr Pinto said people should imagine all the surfaces they touched were dirty and that everyone else was sick so they would keep their distance from others and wash their hands as much as possible.
Dr Pinto, a pain specialist and anaesthetist, said in the two-minute video that her surgery had cancelled non-urgent procedures, but she was available over the phone to patients.
She added: “We are doing what we have to do. In the meantime, I am getting ready, as ready as I can be, and available for what we anticipate is going to be very difficult circumstances. I'll be at the ICU at the hospital.
“The doctors of Bermuda, we are all getting ready. We are communicating, we are studying, we are preparing as much as we can prepare. But we cannot do this alone. We cannot save lives alone.
“The life-saving starts in the community.”
The wife of another doctor also used social media this week to ask people to stay at home.
Catherine West, a novelist, said she did not normally put public posts on her personal Facebook page, but it was necessary in the unusual circumstances.
Mrs West posted a photograph of her husband Stephen, a paediatrician, on the site on Monday and a plea for the public to practise social-distancing.
She wrote: “This is my husband. Today is his birthday. Today, he will not get birthday hugs and kisses. We will not celebrate with friends.
“He will be at work. He will continue to go to work. He will not hold our six-month-old granddaughter.
“He will not share our bed. He will go straight to a bathroom, change and shower after work before sharing space with his family.”
Mrs West told the public: “If you think this is all a bit of a joke, that people are overreacting, that staying home is stupid, please speak with a medical professional. It is not a joke.
“For many of them, it is a matter of life and death. And that may be your life. Or theirs.
“Do my husband and the rest of us a favour. Stay home! And wish him a happy birthday from the couch!”
The message from Mrs West, whose husband works at Wee Care Paediatrics on Elliott Street West in Hamilton, attracted more than 100 comments.
She told The Royal Gazette: “I made the post because it's vitally important that our community in Bermuda take the threat of Covid-19 seriously.
“We need to follow all the rules and guidelines that are being put in place right now for our safety.
“There is so much false information on social media, that this is ‘just the flu', etc, and I have seen a few posts from Bermudians echoing some of the sentiments that many in other countries have expressed.”
Mrs West said: “Being married to a medical professional, I have known about the serious nature of Covid-19 for quite some time and we knew it was a matter of time before it hit our shores.
“The only way we have any hope of getting ahead of the virus is by social distancing — staying home if you can.”
She added she was “very happy” with how the Government had handled the crisis so far and praised David Burt, the Premier, and his team, as well as the police and Royal Bermuda Regiment.
Mrs West said: “Our medical staff and hospital are small compared to other places and the last thing we want is to be overwhelmed and unable to cope with cases.
“I think it's important to watch what's happened in other countries and for everyone to be aware and do their part to ensure the best possible outcome for Bermuda.
“I think hearing from medical professionals, how this has changed their lives and how they run their practices, is important and will help people take this seriously.”