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Young ER doctor describes his fight against COVID-19



When the coronavirus first struck in March, Dr. David Burkard that he had some of the toughest conversations of his life. He had to tell the patients when it was time to say their last goodbye to their families. “The hard part is having to be the person talking to the patient with COVID who says, ‘You know what? It’s time to call your wife. We’ll have to put a breathing tube down, and it’s time for you to say goodbye, ‘”said Burkard It was a message that the doctor in the emergency room had to deliver again and again as the pandemic stretched through the summer and into the shorter days of the fall. Burkard, 28, and in his third year at Spectrum Health Systems in Grand Rapids, Michigan, did what he needed to do to protect himself. He wore protective gear in the workplace, a mask in his own time and stayed socially distant, he says. He ran five days a week, played and coached volleyball, ate a healthy diet and had no major underlying conditions. If he got infected, he thought he would be fine. “I was actually thinking at one point, ̵

6;I just want to get the virus and get it over with,'” he told CNN. “I thought there was no real chance I was going to be hospitalized. I’m a healthy young man.” + Cgo8IS0tIGVuZCBBUCBlbWJlZCAtLT4 = ‘I just could not breathe’ And then came the disease and the positive result for COVID-19. It started with fever and cough, and Burkard felt sick, but after three days things improved markedly. He knew that younger people could get really sick from the virus, but it seemed that he had escaped that bullet. Then came day 6. “I got out of bed. I went to make a sandwich and move around a bit in my apartment and I just could not breathe,” Burkard said. “I just could not breathe.” He tested his own oxygen levels, and he knew – and so did his colleagues when he called – that he had to be hospitalized. He went to his own hospital, where so much was known, but so much was new – and scary. The isolation and loneliness of entering the COVID-19 unit. The suffocating feeling of being short of breath. The fear. It was all there, with no friends and family around to soothe his worries. “I’m literally at work where I have a lot of friends and colleagues and not a single one of them could come and just say hello,” Burkard said. “I could not be more grateful to the nurses, phlebotomists and doctors who continued to treat me with a smile under their masks.” Burkard does not know how he got the virus, but he knows it is not a joke to live with. Two weeks after testing positive, he still can not walk without having difficulty breathing. He has been at home where he has had time to see reactions on social media to his diagnosis from those who still do not believe in the reality of the virus. which has killed more than 250,000 Americans and infected 11 million more. “I’ve got a lot of people saying … I’m a scam. I got someone reporting me to Facebook for being a fake profile,” he said. hope some people think twice about his experience. “Instead of just saying meaningful things behind the keyboard, imagine what it’s like to have that conversation with someone that you put a breathing tube down your throat and they might not be able to say ‘I love you’ to their loved one again, “he said.PCEtLSBzdGFydCBBUCBlbWJlZCAtLT4KCjxpZnJhbWUgdGl0bGU9Ik5ldyBkYWlseSBDT1ZJRC0xOSBjYXNlcyIgYXJpYS1sYWJlbD0iTWFwIiBpZD0iZGF0YXdyYXBwZXItY2hhcnQtT3c3NHQiIHNyYz0iaHR0cHM6Ly9pbnRlcmFjdGl2ZXMuYXAub3JnL2VtYmVkcy9Pdzc0dC8yMi8iIHNjcm9sbGluZz0ibm8iIHd pZHRoPSIxMDAlIiBzdHlsZT0iYm9yZGVyOm5vbmUiIGhlaWdodD0iNTMxIj48L2lmcmFtZT48c2NyaXB0IHR5cGU9InRleHQvamF2YXNjcmlwdCI + IWZ1bmN0aW9uKCl7InVzZSBzdHJpY3QiO3dpbmRvdy5hZGRFdmVudExpc3RlbmVyKCJtZXNzYWdlIiwoZnVuY3Rpb24oYSl7aWYodm9pZCAwIT09YS5kYXRhWyJkYXRhd3JhcHBlci1oZWlnaHQiXSlmb3IodmFyIGUgaW4gYS5kYXRhWyJkYXRhd3JhcHBlci1oZWlnaHQiXSl7dmFyIHQ9ZG9jdW1lbnQuZ2V0RWxlbWVudEJ5SWQoImRhdGF3cmFwcGVyLWNoYXJ0LSIrZSl8fGRvY3VtZW50LnF1ZXJ5U2VsZWN0b3IoImlmcmFtZVtzcmMqPSciK2UrIiddIik7dCYmKHQuc3R5bGUuaGVpZ2h0PWEuZGF0YVsiZGF0YXdyYXBwZXI taGVpZ2h0Il1bZV0rInB4Iil9fSkpfSgpOzwvc2NyaXB0PgoKPCEtLSBlbmQgQVAgZW1iZWQgLS0 + Burkard says he loves being an ER doctor and he lights up when we talk about going back to work. It will have to wait until he is strong enough for the intense and fiscal shifts. Meanwhile, he feels guilty for knowing that his colleagues are working so hard as the coronavirus hits more and more people. Michigan’s test positivity rate rose to 11.6% this week, according to Johns Hopkins University. Its cases are shooting in the air, and so are hospitalizations. Burkard says there are 300 COVID-19 patients in Spectrum Health, the most important healthcare system in the area. That’s the most they’ve had since the pandemic began, he adds. Burkard’s interview with CNN was the first time he left his self-isolation in his apartment after leaving the hospital. He no longer throws the virus, but any activity is still really tough. “I needed this. It’s nice to see people again,” Burkard said, short of breath as he began to walk the short distance home. He asked everyone to follow the instructions – stay home, wear a mask, socialize outside and sit outside this Thanksgiving gathering to save lives and celebrate later. And he hopes he can serve as a warning story. “do not know about this virus,” Burkard said. “Do not take chances no matter how healthy you are.”

When coronavirus first struck in March, Dr. David Burkard that he had some of the toughest conversations of his life.

He had to let patients know when it was time to say their final goodbye to their families.

“The hard part is having to be the person talking to the patient with COVID who says, ‘You know what? It’s time to call your wife. We’ll have to put a breathing tube down, and it’s time for you to say goodbye, ‘”said Burkard.

It was a message that the doctor in the emergency room had to deliver again and again as the pandemic stretched through the summer and into the shorter autumn days.

Burkard, 28, and in his third year at Spectrum Health Systems in Grand Rapids, Michigan, did what he needed to do to stay safe. He wore protective gear in the workplace, a mask on his own time and kept himself socially distant, he says.

He ran five days a week, played and coached volleyball, ate a healthy diet and had no major underlying conditions. If he got infected, he thought he would be fine.

“I was actually thinking at one point, ‘I just want to get the virus and get it over with,'” he told CNN. “I thought there was no real chance I would be hospitalized. I’m a healthy young man.”

‘I just could not breathe’

And then came the disease and the positive result for COVID-19.

It started with fever and cough, and Burkard felt sick, but after three days things improved markedly. He knew that younger people could get really sick from the virus, but it seemed that he had escaped that bullet. Then Day 6 came around.

“I got out of bed. I went to make a sandwich and move around a bit in my apartment and I just could not breathe,” Burkard said. “I just could not breathe.”

He tested his own oxygen levels, and he knew – and so did his colleagues when he called – that he had to be hospitalized.

He went to his own hospital, where so much was known, but so much was new – and scary.

The isolation and loneliness of entering the COVID-19 unit. The suffocating feeling of being short of breath. The fear. It was all there, with no friends and family around to soothe his worries.

“I’m literally at work where I have a lot of friends and colleagues and not a single one of them could come and just say hello,” Burkard said. “I could not be more grateful to the nurses, phlebotomists and doctors who continued to treat me with a smile under their masks.”

Burkard does not know how he got the virus, but he knows it is no joke to live with. Two weeks after testing positive, he still can not walk without having difficulty breathing.

He has been at home where he has had time to see reactions on social media to his diagnosis from those who still do not believe in the reality of a virus that has killed more than 250,000 Americans and infected 11 million more.

“I’ve got a lot of people saying … I’m a scam. I got someone to sign up for Facebook for being a fake profile,” he said.

He hopes some people will think twice about his experience.

“Instead of just saying meaningful things behind the keyboard, imagine what it’s like to have that conversation with someone that you put a breathing tube down your throat and they may not be able to say ‘I love you’ to their loved one again, “he said.

Burkard says he loves being an ER doctor, and he lights up when he talks about going back to work. It will have to wait until he is strong enough for the intense and fiscal shifts. Meanwhile, he feels guilty for knowing that his colleagues are working so hard as the coronavirus hits more and more people.

Michigan’s test positivity rate rose to 11.6% this week, according to Johns Hopkins University. Its cases are skyrocketing, and so are hospitalizations.

Burkard says there are 300 COVID-19 patients in Spectrum Health, the most important healthcare system in the area. That’s the most they’ve had since the pandemic began, he adds.

Burkard’s interview with CNN was the first time he left his self-isolation in his apartment after leaving the hospital. He no longer throws the virus, but any activity is still really tough.

“I needed this. It’s nice to see people again,” Burkard said slightly short of breath as he began to walk the short distance home.

He asked everyone to follow the instructions – stay home, wear a mask, social distance outside and sit outside this Thanksgiving gathering to save lives and celebrate later.

And he hopes he can serve as a warning story.

“There’s a lot more that we don’t know about this virus,” Burkard said. “Do not take chances no matter how healthy you are.”


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