(Reuters) - A doctor at a New York City hospital had to make a difficult decision last weekend to send his wife and 17-month-old daughter away while he remained on the front lines of the U.S. coronavirus crisis.
“I don’t know how long it’s gonna be. But this morning when I left the house, I said goodbye to my wife and my daughter for who knows how long, it’s going to be several weeks probably, before I see them in person again,” said Dr. Matthew Bai, who made a video recording in his car before his shift started on Monday.
Bai, who works at Mount Sinai Queens, said when he arrived at the hospital there were over 60 patients with COVID-19 waiting for a bed in the emergency department.
He said the halls, typically neat and empty, were overflowing with patients and the medical staff was doing the best they could.
After turning in a 14-hour shift, Bai said, “It’s gonna be really tough and it’s only going to get tougher over the next two weeks... The things that I see in the ER are scary. It’s not going to be easy.”
New York suffered its deadliest single day from the coronavirus on Friday, with 562 additional deaths in the last 24 hours for a total of 2,935 fatalities, by far the most of any U.S. state.
Meanwhile, Dr. Umesh Gidwani, chief of cardiac critical care at Mount Sinai Medical Center, said in a video he recorded on Wednesday that the medical staff were taking care of the most vulnerable people and working hard to save as many lives as possible.
After Gidwani leaves the hospital, he said he will “go home and have a quick shower. Hopefully scrub the coronavirus off my body, if not off my soul.”
Reporting by Roselle Chen; Writing by Diane Craft; Editing by Rosalba O'Brien