Doctors have said this pandemic is the toughest situation they have had to experience throughout their career.
Federico Vallejo – pulmonologist
“There’s a number of doctors who prefer just to retire or to completely change their career because of what we are experiencing right now.”
Federico Vallejo is an intensive care specialist at McAllen Medical. He says his work day has changed dramatically since the pandemic began. From having to work double shifts to having to limit his contact with family members.
“At the beginning of the pandemic, for about 5 weeks, I had to isolate myself almost completely because I thought it was the safest thing to do. Then as we started understanding more and more about the transmission of this disease, my family came back home but the precautions continued.”
One of the hardest situations Vallejo has faced is having to tell a family their loved one lost their battle against the virus. A doctor at Valley Baptist in Harlingen describes a similar situation.
“We work in different hospitals and even in different cities. our schedules are we do day shifts, we do night shifts: the whole month is distributed among us. we are a group of 6 intensivists and several nurse practitioners.”Jamil Madi Director of ICU With Valley Baptist Harlingen
Madi says that despite taking all the precautionary measures when coming home, there is always that risk of being asymptomatic.
“When I get home,before I even step off, I have to take all my clothes off and run to the bathroom and take a shower before I am able to even hold or kiss or hug my son or my wife.”
Both doctors said that the us defense teams that were deployed to the Rio Grande Valley have been very helpful relieving their workload.