The fear, the war and the people: heartfelt stories of the Russian-speaking doctor on combating coronavirus in the United States

Russian doctor Mikhail Mirer (Mirer Mike) works at the forefront of the fight against large-scale outbreak of the deadly coronavirus infection COVID-19 in the United States. The Mirer – children’s doctor-neurologist, head of children’s Department at Moses Taylor Hospital in Scranton (PA). Michael maintains a blog on Facebook, which describes the everyday life of doctors and nurses in danger, and tells stories. With permission of the author ForumDaily publishes a few sketches from life and work during a pandemic.

О страхе, войне и людях: искренние истории русскоязычного врача о борьбе с коронавирусом в США

Photo: Mike Mirer/Facebook

13 Mar


Neon sign Emergency Room glowed blue-green-red neon light: from a distance one might think that this is a nightclub, only instead of music periodically, siren and blue flashes of the beacons of the ambulance. Some people drive slowly along the street, standing on the corner near the ER, and out through the automatic door.

You every doctor will say that the peak of patients in the ER is necessary for late evening until around two in the morning.

Another day of critical thinking and the ability to call someone, for example, in a doctor’s office or friends, support even the weakest, but with the sunset, fear for children, parents or a loved one as phosgene fills the living space and begins to choke.

Fear is what drives people how to fish for spawning, in the ER at night.

The mother of three children drowning in her own tears, almost shouting: “Doctor, help! My Babicki coronavirus! He’s already two days sick! Quickly!”

Begin to explore, and fun to find cheerful toddler with snot. Temperature 37,2 already. Express-analysis showed RSV – respiratory syncytial virus. A common cause of SARS. It fun playing with me and does not understand, and what actually happened and why mom is crying?

He doesn’t understand, and I understand. Mother ate the fear.

Each of iron rushes that we are done, so many got sick, many died.

I have noticed, if you Google long that any disease is fatal.

And then, Google does not need this information hell pours like rain in the field, and nowhere to hide, China, Italy, Germany, closed up, drugs, no, nothing, the end…

I’m not a biologist, but it is clear that at least all mammals have fear. It’s primitive and evolutionary sense can survive. It’s easier to say don’t go there if scared, you’ll live longer.

The man has the most evolved brain, and although he can’t run like a Cheetah, but can think like a man.

Human fear is the most sophisticated. The brain is able to think of the worst scenario even when all is well, and if there is the slightest reason, then hold on!

And the reason just appeared. Coronavirus, of course, a serious illness, because we are long gone that a person could die of old age. Well, obviously, there is, of course, cancer or an accident, but that’s it, sick with fever, cough and died?! We’re in the twenty-first century we live!

My friend, intelligent man and a successful businessman, calls me every day asking the same thing. What to do, where to go and read endless amounts of articles about coronavirus indiscriminately. He is not alone. The fear that initially needs help to survive, has turned into a paralyzing panic. Now distraught herd runs, rolling his eyes, sweeping away everything in its path.

The first thing dare in our stores toilet paper, wipes and disinfectants. Someone wisely said that it’s because of somebody sneezing on each one hundred crap.

I love canned food, cereals, rice. Some stores are half-empty shelves.

In Russian the shop was gone buckwheat, and that’s what reflexes!

It is interesting that the coronavirus was struck not only living organisms, but inanimate. For example, the economy and politics. The economy almost exactly in the intensive care unit were not available, and it looks like it will still be better. The proliferation of information enabled the virus to destroy the world as easily as it affects the lungs.

Every morning for the doctors in our hospital briefing. Does the hospital have cases of coronavirus, and where they exist.

I must say that the medical staff behaves very adequately. From the nurses to the doctor. No panic. The situation is changing every day. The information is sometimes contradictory, some masks, some do not.

The hospital has fully provided for all who are on the cutting edge masks N-95, points and special robes, very quickly deploy telemedicine to reduce the risk of exposure and possible contamination. Testing for the virus or on request, or under indications.

All the testing and treatment of coronavirus or free on insurance, no matter if there is insurance or not.

Pandemic coronavirus demonstrated how fragile the world in which we live. Just imagine the same thing, but with a mortality rate of 70%. In all bins do not have enough space.

In fact it is a rehearsal, and perhaps the last.

Of course we all will survive, or rather, survive ninety-eight out of a hundred……

26 Mar

On the Western front without changes

Yesterday afternoon I got a call from my close friend, the anesthesiologist.

“Imagine, my boss and his wife picked up the coronavirus. Wife peoplewere and recovered, and he gaspirali down has already been on oxygen in the intensive care unit. We are with him ten days ago was working in one operating room. These are, brother, case.”

Holy shit, the day started!

Now news reports like from the front — our gallant doctors seized and held a bridgehead in new Rochelle, under the pressure of the coronavirus fell in new York. The list of the dead and wounded. Not only enough — from the Soviet information, brrr — the creeps.

Life suddenly in a matter of days turned from quiet, civil, into something strange, previously unseen by me, but understood the feelings of my past life, where all were brought up in the war.

I am, though, surprised and panic buying toilet paper and canned food, but thought to myself that I would have matches, salt and soap, as this simple recipe is that in the literature that in the folklore of our bounces from the teeth.

Today, on the way to work, I suddenly realized that I was on the highway one. Like after a neutron bomb. Anyone, only withered grass by the roadside, as there was no snow due to the unusually warm winter.

The city seemed extinct.

My hospital moved to a state of siege. Doors closed, only with a magnetic key can enter.

We have is one with the coronavirus in intensive care.

To night I received a five month old baby. Born premature, all was well, and yesterday had fever, cough. By morning, it was worse, choking, pulse 190, 65 breath in a minute. I looked at x-rays, all right lung is white. All kirdyk, it is urgent to transfer to the intensive care unit. Resuscitator said, causing the helicopter that cannot be excluded COVID-19, child wear a mask. And the tests ended yesterday.

That’s something like!

Kids like to get sick less, but also sick, and very quickly deteriorate unlucky.

Now only the lazy does not speak about the virus, they say, nothing special. I just want to ask, but you are, how many people in my life intubated? When you last time in the face over the mask a spray of mucus from endotracheal tubes came?!

People yesterday fun saying that stuff, I will survive, suddenly realized the real danger, albeit statistically small, but real. These conversations in the hospital a week ago resembled conversations in the rear echelon in 1941 on the way to the front. “Conductive” and hit the Germans! The comparison is certainly not the best, but the feeling is similar.

In General, there is little to the liking of grave chill.

Patients, yesterday running for any reason, to ER, now prefer to stay home sick, wisely realizing that constipation — where less risk compared with a virus, caught while putting the enema.

All without stopping to say, how could it miss ?! Who will answer for this?! The government — goats and old asshole!

I oppose the term “physician” as a consciously humiliating status of a doctor, but now the situation is different. Doctors and nurses stood in the way of a pandemic, however pathetic it may sound, equally risking their health.

Actually, human life is different. For example, in Afghanistan or Africa, people are dying every day dozens, or even hundreds, so what?! Who knows about this? But, if you died two hundred Italians, French or perhaps the Americans, so the world is turned upside down, the market drops like a weight on the floor with a thud. This, of course, unfair, but these and many other countries have done much to human life has become so expensive. In the fifteenth century French peasant life is also worth nothing.

Maybe that’s why two or three percent mortality is a real tragedy and a real problem.

Yesterday in our hospital, some scum stole twelve boxes of special masks N-95, but they are not enough, and issue a receipt.

Young residents as leytenantik from school, they first came to the real batch. Hands shaking, covered with confusion.

Depressing statistic — 38% of hospitalized from 20 to 50 years young. Largely due to the ill staff. This was not in other countries.

The hospital at NYU (new York University) is a student residence is being converted in the placement of medical staff in case of doctors will be transferred to the barracks.

The medical staff runs out.

In big cities there were soldiers.

And yet, in the hospital nobody panics, support each other as they can, as something very human.

Live one day.

Still just beginning, so help us God!

26 Mar


My friend sent me a short video with three naked Babes having fun like mad under Lambada on some expensive yacht in the warm sea. Smiling, laughing, rubbing the priests.

What a lovely pre-war video, I thought.

Now my rounds in the hospital consists of two parts. First my babies in the newborn ward, while I more or less clean, then the floor.

Last received — the boy with cerebral palsy and COVID-19. Hurts hard, temperature, severe bilateral pneumonia, gastronomicheskaja a feeding tube, he doesn’t eat. My girls nurse knocked down, but I bite my lip, facing death, do not whine.

The boy’s mother on another floor, heavy, on oxygen.

Instead of break — the second part of the bypass.

Call my closest friends, fell from the nasty virus.

Bear Kogan is an anesthesiologist, until recently, was in the office and looked sick. There, along with the surgeon they “cleaned” the vessels of patients on dialysis. If closed, they would have died from kidney failure. His wife Faina therapist for twelve hours staring endlessly running stream of elderly patients in the office until I fell down with the same, and continues, the patient, make video calls to remotely.

They are both from Irkutsk, Siberia. I was once told that if my relatives are riding in the same supply trucks that your when they are sent to Siberia, I would have suffocated before the Urals.

Only now I realize how fragile the world was, with a croissant and coffee at a cozy table with friends, the warmth of which is felt tactilely, and entering the Elevator did not require breath, like you don’t ride in elevators, and diving to your floor.

All the yelling on TV, Internet, phone. Goats, it was not so, not here, not to those and not those. What’s the difference!? In fact, it’s reminiscent of the runaway avalanches of snow in the mountains. No matter you stood directly under the hill or three hundred meters further, you will not escape, just sweat for nothing.

And with the coronavirus turned out, covered all. There is no such state that would have pre-purchased half a million fans, and had the army doctors “in reserve” in preparation for the potential of a hypothetical pandemic. So there is no point anyone for this porpoise.

I must say that people, smell fried, pulled out of new York who where. Prices for rent of country houses soared, and for the price you want is not found.

Now, to enter our community, we have to stand in line at the checkpoint.

In our forest woke up the bears and freaking out. It’s already July and the summer holidays?! Why do so many people come in large numbers? You what, I just got up, even the teeth are not cleaned!

Now the important thing is not to fall ill do something serious.

Deaths from the virus one, and from a heart attack, which was not enough space in intensive care, another. We can say, kirdyk — two in one.

In new York very tight.

In the hospital where I work once a month, pediatric intensive care unit moved in a very children’s Department, just giving a few wards and all intensive care unit prepared to receive young adults who need artificial ventilation.

On the street there was a huge tent for those in need of hospitalization, but who still doesn’t need a fan.

Mask N95 give one to five days.

Friend doctor goes every day to the hospital, where they are often unable to provide adequate protection, leaving three young children at home. I’m not talking about elderly parents.

Nearly all States ask all who has or had a license, go to help, all given the green light, no restrictions.

Also, there’s a grim joke: if you don’t want to intubated gynecologist, stay home.

In General — à la guerre comme à la guerre !

О страхе, войне и людях: искренние истории русскоязычного врача о борьбе с коронавирусом в США

Photo: Mike Mirer/Facebook

28 Mar

Collateral Damage / shrapnel

Worked three 12-hour days, day off. I’ve been without an alarm clock get up at six in the morning and the first thing I saw was the headline in the news.

“COVID — 19 in new York kills one person every 17 minutes.”

In NY, hospitals have adjusted the refrigerator to put the dead. Well, even though it is an absolute grind, but on the other hand, where to put them? The corpse of some perishable thing, and need a big fridge, so all right. Just from this reality hair stand on end, well I’m bald, but it would and went as grated ebony wand with the hair up.

Yesterday in our three surrounding counties introduced the Governor to stay home. I found out when I received an urgent Email from the hospital with a pass.

“The bearer blah, blah — essential emergency personnel” (need employee emergency service). This paper, plus the identity of allow you to travel everywhere freely.

However, in a shop and pharmacy can be reach to everyone, but if you stop, you need to explain.

The administration told me that a little bit, but there are those who deserted, went to the ends. I do not blame them, it is terrible, of course, but then in the mirror to see? Among my friends there are none, period. On the contrary, those who watched the planned patients, got out, and, calling the administration has offered himself to any position where you now need a doctor. Older doctors retired, just knowing that they are the first to take off in this game in chapayevites with the virus, came into operation.

It so happened that most of my friends — doctors of different specialties. We are all for many years used that people get sick, treated, recovering or dying, for us it’s business as usual. We’re just doing our job.

The hardest our family.

I call my mother every day. She closed with a quarantine in the apartment in Brooklyn, waiting for a call, but she never calls, doesn’t want to bother or distract me from work. She says cheerfully: “dad OK, don’t worry!” Why don’t worry, like I don’t hear her voice that says tied to a chair hostage, in carried to the mouth phone.

Well, my dad does not understand dementia. For him, everything as always…

My favorite and loyal friend-the wife turned into war workers.

She is very excited, her job now is to wait.

I sent her to bed on the second floor, after all, still less risk of infection, because I am at risk.

My arrival from work now resembles a roadside picnic Strugatsky.

I like Stalker, undress in the garage, shoes in a large cardboard box, clothes directly into the Laundry, I’m in the shower.

Even my dog Sasha understands that something here not so, apparently, the folder came up with some new ritual hugs, and patiently sits and waits at the bathroom door until I come out to finally make five minutes of love and adoration!

I woke up and saw a thin beam of light through the slightly open door.

My wife sat silently cleaned a table in the dining room and looked somewhere in the blackness of the window. I have the flint.

I walked over and said, “Go to sleep, don’t worry, everything will be fine…”

29 Mar


“Hello,” the phone sounded calm, firm voice, not a bit changed in thirty years.

“Michael Abramovich, how are you?”

“Thanks, Misha, that’s fine. Go to the office, watching the patients while there. Will not patients come to the hospital”.

“Maybe you shouldn’t. You 73, really dangerous.”

“No Misha, I was too late to change beliefs, it….”

Our life’s orbit intertwined strange, almost mystical way. I finished the third medical school and was glad that he was in “Obstetrics and gynecology”. It was difficult to get, however, as everywhere, but I very well studied. However, the internship did not offer me, something didn’t fit.

Mikhail Abramovich was then the second Professor, a real celebrity. Huge growth with hands like two pieces of ham, and thick fingers, it was more like the hero Ilya Muromets, however, was a bit excessively curly for the epic hero. He was involved in the management of complicated pregnancies, and in fact was at the forefront of ultrasound development in the USSR. Talented and successful, he aroused the envy of many. He willingly helped anyone I could.

I didn’t know him until he came to the Department, the Intern. He suggested that I take courses in ultrasound, and this began our long friendship. I was very grateful to him, because apart from the additional knowledge, ultrasonic craft fed me and my family before leaving for America.

He came to America in about eight months after me. We met, I told her about what he learned, as they say, with wheels on the go. Told what books you need for exams, how to pass, etc.

He passed the exams “since the summer”, then passed the exams, his wife, who was the chief scientific officer of obstetrics and gynecology at MONIIAG (Moscow regional research Institute of obstetrics and gynecology). They were both residency and become family doctors (the family doctor). Faina Abramovna went to work in a veterans hospital and has only recently retired, and Michael Abramovich has opened an office in Manhattan. For many years he does what very good can — heal people.

His son Sasha went to med school in new York with honors. He hasn’t Sasha, and head. the Department of obstetrics in a hospital in Queens, specialist in reproductive medicine. Talented and funny people. Under his editorship there was a textbook on Obstetrics, which are studying in PFUR.

Now he is also on the front, and Queens blasted the strongest, most cases COVID-19. This infection spares no one, neither old nor pregnant.

I called to congratulate him on his birthday this winter, and he said he should probably retire.

He asked if I know any young doctor who could take office, because a lot of people go to him and he can’t just up and close. I said if I give him the phone.

He retired not time to leave. Not yet…

Truly, I want to hear God laugh, tell him about your plans.

Mirer, MD

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