A View on COVID-19 From a Doctor

About Me :

My name is Dr. Huda Arif and I currently practice as a consulting nephrologist in the DFW area. I work with a dynamic group of 40 nephrologists at Dallas Renal Group who are constantly looking into innovative ideas and ways on providing exemplary patient care and changing the traditional way of practicing medicine. Outside of my job, I am a big foodie, and there is no compromise on carbs! I love to travel & am fond of aesthetics be it interiors, fashion or art.

 

Thoughts on COVID-19 :

The pandemic has definitely taken all physicians with a blow. We were not prepared for what was coming.  From a medicine perspective, not much is known about the virus, and we are still in the discovering and experimenting phase. As a disease, none of us were prepared about its rapid transmission and diagnostic needs. We weren’t prepared to handle the disease burden in the hospital setting. All of this adds to our day to day work anxiety and definitely makes it a mentally and physically challenging experience. 

Aside from this, we are also worried about not just exposing ourselves, but also exposing our family members which include elderly and kids. Somehow our training process through all these medical years teaches us to put our fears behind & focus on what we know to do best -  i.e. to take care of our patients. This is our purpose, and there is nothing holding us back. As a practice we have developed our model, to hold down our fort, and watch out for each other as we get through this tough phase in our lives.

I am fortunate to have a strong support system. As a group of nephrologists our practice has very strong fundamentals to watch out for each other. I feel fortunate to be able to connect with people like all of you via my instagram, who are constantly sending good wishes and prayers.

  

How I’m On the Front Lines :

I am a nephrologist, in other words a 'kidney specialist'. We work with ER doctors, intensivists and hospitalists on patients who are suspected to have kidney failure. Most of the patients with coronavirus who get admitted to the hospital have moderate to severe symptoms. 

Unfortunately, as the disease progresses it involves patients needing to be on dialysis along with other life support measures. That’s where we come in to help out our frontliners.

Over the course of the next few weeks, hospitals are getting more prepared to face the disease burden. Most hospitals are opening up dedicated COVID units to handle these patients better. 

 

PPE Shortage :

For one patient who gets admitted to the hospital with coronavirus, an approximate 500 masks are needed by the healthcare workers for the entire hospitalization course. I have seen several big & small organizations trying to help hospitals and physicians to obtain proper PPE (personal protection equipment). 

Some examples include : Salvatore Ferragamo to Zara to small communities like Muslimwallart and more. All are coming up with ways to help the hospitals. I am truly humbled to see such response from the community

 

 

Thoughts on Those Ignoring Social Distancing :

It’s very unfortunate if there are people who still think all of this is a fluke. Some are not worried about falling sick as it is reportedly only deadly in the elderly. 

The biggest problem of this disease compared to the previous coronavirus ( SARS and MERS) pandemics are asymptomatic vectors. I say vectors because even if you have mild to no symptoms, you are still transmitting the disease to other people. The average incubation time of this disease is approx 5-6 days. This is the time you will have no symptoms but still be transmitting the virus. All of this adds to the disease burden. 

We have recently also seen in the news that the younger, healthy population is now developing severe symptoms and it is being attributed to a highly virulent strain of the virus. Unfortunately COVID-19 is the kind of virus that can constantly change its RNA (commonly understood as DNA) and thus some forms can be more dangerous and deadly than the others. The only way right now to prevent yourself, your loved ones, and your community from not suffering from the worse of this pandemic is to strictly follow social distancing. It is almost like there is no other choice.

 


Thank You For Your Support : 

I’d like thank you all for allowing me to be a part of this discussion. Being on the healthcare side of things, we physicians have been adamantly advocating social distancing and all preventive methods. But seeing it coming from the community puts us a little bit at ease. 

To everyone practicing social distancing, I really want to thank you all. We all understand this is not easy, but us health care providers are truly appreciative of you doing your part. Continue to spread the kindness - that’s what connects us all together.


 Check out Huda’s Instagram here.

 


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