July 1, 2021 — For New Yorkers, March eleven to Could 2, 2020, was most certainly the worst time of the pandemic.

Nearly 19,000 persons died of COVID-19 in New York City through these weeks, which interprets to above 350 fatalities for each day and far more than a single demise each and every five minutes. No a single skilled the chaotic early times of the pandemic far more than the city’s essential personnel, which includes these on the front lines at Mount Sinai Hospital.

And, in The Surge at Mount Sinai, a documentary streaming on discovery+ currently, you are going to be transported into the hospital’s intense care units and fulfill various sufferers hospitalized early on, as properly as the heroic Mount Sinai ICU medical doctors, nurses, and assistance staff.

To uncover out how his staff is carrying out and what he thought about the movie, we interviewed David L. Reich, MD, president of Mount Sinai, a single of the country’s major and most overwhelmed wellness care devices, by using Zoom. Read through on for his thoughts on COVID-19, the documentary, and what concerns him most suitable now.

WebMD: When did you know we were in difficulty with this virus?

Reich: Late February. I’m lucky to be connected with colleagues in Italy, and the messages of desperation started coming by through that time. It was really horrifying. They defined that this is not just a respiratory virus and that it overwhelms hospitals and staff. They instructed me to try out to be ready.

WebMD: The movie seriously delves into the posttraumatic pressure ailment (PTSD) your team is nonetheless feeling. How significantly are you concentrating on this currently?

Reich: We’re blessed to have Dr. Dennis Charney as the dean of the Icahn University of Medication at Mount Sinai. He’s an specialist in resilience, and he jumped on this simply because these difficulties are foremost on our minds. We a short while ago developed the Center for Strain, Resilience, and Particular Growth to assistance our staff get better. This virus was like a war, and we know from PTSD connected to wartime that PTSD has phases and can previous a extended time. The toughest factors for our staff was the panic that they would be infected or provide the an infection property. Then there was the fact that, with this virus, our sufferers were dying on your own devoid of household associates present. The staff stepped in, carrying out FaceTime with household associates who were declaring goodbye. Our chaplains couldn’t be in the clinic so, if the households requested it, the staff, in particular our nurses, mentioned prayers at the minute of demise. We were a surrogate for these households who couldn’t be there at the most critically emotional minute in daily life, which is when you lose a liked a single. To step in at that minute was some thing that modified all of us permanently.

WebMD: What concerns you most now that we’re in this phase of the COVID-19 pandemic? Is the delta variant on your thoughts?

Reich: I’m worried simply because the Greek alphabet has a ton of letters. I’m not remaining glib, but what I’m declaring is that as extended as this virus is spreading as it is during the earth mostly unchecked, each and every solitary an infection is a opportunity for the virus to mutate and to evolve into some thing that is far more transmissible and perhaps into some thing that is far more fatal. We have a authentic chance in the earth, and we have to consider globally now about how we assistance other nations that never have the sources that we see in Western Europe and the United States and get as numerous vaccinations to as numerous persons as attainable.

Normally, a vaccine-evading variant could arise, and then all the tough get the job done we have performed with vaccinations, even if we have to arrive up with a booster system, it’s likely to be seriously tough if we end up with a vaccine evader. Complacency is not an option suitable now.

WebMD: The movie is certain to prompt some complicated reminiscences. Is it tough for you to view it?
Reich: I see it differently — I come to feel so incredibly proud of how persons responded in this disaster. The emotion of the disappointment, the panic, the anxiousness is blended with a single of serious joy at the way our staff responded to the most significant disaster in their lives. They did so with innovation, spirit, and they showed these loving compassion to the persons who were dying, as properly as their households. Indeed, theoretically in medicine, we could know we may well be confronted with a problem like this, but to be confronted in authentic daily life and for persons to increase as they did — that to me is so inspiring.

For a preview of the movie, look at out the trailer

listed here


WebMD Well being News


David L. Reich, MD, president, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York City.

© 2021 WebMD, LLC. All legal rights reserved.