July 1, 2021 — For New Yorkers, March 11 to Might 2, 2020, was most positively the worst time of the pandemic.

Practically 19,000 individuals died of COVID-19 in New York Metropolis throughout these weeks, which interprets to over 350 deaths per day and multiple loss of life each 5 minutes. Nobody skilled the chaotic early days of the pandemic greater than town’s important employees, together with these on the entrance strains at Mount Sinai Hospital.

And, in The Surge at Mount Sinai, a documentary streaming on discovery+ in the present day, you’ll be transported into the hospital’s intensive care items and meet a number of sufferers hospitalized early on, in addition to the heroic Mount Sinai ICU docs, nurses, and assist employees.

To learn the way his employees is doing and what he thought in regards to the movie, we interviewed David L. Reich, MD, president of Mount Sinai, one of many nation’s largest and most overwhelmed well being care programs, by way of Zoom. Learn on for his ideas on COVID-19, the documentary, and what worries him most proper now.


WebMD: When do you know we had been in bother with this virus?


Reich: Late February. I’m lucky to be linked with colleagues in Italy, and the messages of desperation began coming by way of throughout that point. It was very horrifying. They defined that this isn’t only a respiratory virus and that it overwhelms hospitals and employees. They informed me to attempt to be prepared.




WebMD: The movie actually delves into the posttraumatic stress dysfunction (PTSD) your workforce continues to be feeling. How a lot are you specializing in this in the present day?


Reich: We’re blessed to have Dr. Dennis Charney because the dean of the Icahn Faculty of Medication at Mount Sinai. He’s an skilled in resilience, and he jumped on this as a result of these points are foremost on our minds. We not too long ago created the Heart for Stress, Resilience, and Private Progress to assist our employees get well. This virus was like a battle, and we all know from PTSD associated to wartime that PTSD has phases and might final a very long time. The toughest issues for our employees was the worry that they’d be contaminated or convey the an infection residence. Then there was the truth that, with this virus, our sufferers had been dying alone with out members of the family current. The employees stepped in, doing FaceTime with members of the family who had been saying goodbye. Our chaplains couldn’t be within the hospital so, if the households requested it, the employees, particularly our nurses, mentioned prayers for the time being of loss of life. We had been a surrogate for these households who couldn’t be there on the most critically emotional second in life, which is once you lose a cherished one. To step in at that second was one thing that modified all of us ceaselessly.

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