NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Medical professionals in Middle Tennessee have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic for 9 months, and they are worn out.
News 2 spoke with Dr. Jason Martin, a pulmonary critical care physician in Sumner County about the strain hospitals and medical professionals are under.
The emotional toll is great.
“I’ve seen countless people say goodbye to their loved ones over FaceTime, and I’m never going to be the same person after this pandemic. It’s terrible,” said Dr. Martin.
There’s more to treatment than just providing a bed. You need medical staff to take care of those hardest hit by this virus.
Hospitals here in Middle Tennessee and throughout the country are struggling to meet demand as cases surge in the wake of the Thanksgiving holiday. There are only so many beds and medical staff available for the sickest patients.
“The health care community is a slice of the regular community. So, we’re seeing that a lot of our staff has becoming ill or they’re becoming quarantined as well. And there are finite limits to the number of people who can provide these services, and the system is taxed right now,” said Dr. Martin.
Those who have sworn to take care of Tennesseans when they need it the most feel abandoned by those at the top. The message from our medical workers is clear. Dr. Martin, among others, wants a state-wide mask mandate.
“Governor Lee, we desperately need your help right now. The fend for yourself response has not worked. We need a coordinated response that involves a mask mandate. And also, Governor Lee, President Bush goes to see the troops, President Trump went to see the troops. We want you to come to see the troops, come visit us in the ICU so we can show you what it looks like on a daily basis,” said Dr. Martin.
As medical professionals work through the holidays, remember that the best way to help them out is by social distancing and putting on a mask.
“We want to help you, but we have to have some help in return. I’m going to be at the hospital on Christmas Day, probably doing 12 or 15 hours, with many of my fellow staff members, we’ve been away from our families. We just want some shared sacrifice. And that’s the Tennessee spirit,” said Dr. Martin.
Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.