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'Exhausted', doctor hopes he'll be over with COVID soon

‘Exhausted’, doctor hopes he’ll be over with COVID soon

“Exhausted” and overwhelmed by the influx of most unvaccinated COVID-19 patients, Dr. James Samuel Pope, director of the intensive care unit at Hartford Hospital, Connecticut in the US, hopes that the Omicron wave of the pandemic will be the last.

“The frustration is very real (…) We are all exhausted,” said the American doctor frankly who opened the doors of the intensive care unit to AFP in an exceptional way.

Nearly two years after the outbreak of the pandemic in the United States, the deadliest country in the world with 847,000 deaths, “among those of us who have been here since the beginning, it is hard to find someone enthusiastic who thinks it was a positive, life-changing experience,” he slides. Dr. Bob, who runs from bed to bed in his unit, whose walls have been pushed back several times since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

France Press agency

Next to the bed of his patients, most of them unvaccinated, sometimes immunocompromised, here he asks about the possible “pain” of the woman, and there he asks the man if he is “breathing” correctly and wants to hear him “cough” frankly.

Monitoring a patient’s heart rate under the tube, and examining another patient’s X-ray, Mr. Pope talks to his nurses and “(is surprised, even now, to see so many unvaccinated people still coming here).

One replied that their patients were indeed “not immunized”.

It’s hard for the nursing staff at Hartford Hospital to maintain their faith and enthusiasm for their profession: “No, I’m not going to keep doing this, it’s exhausting. I hope that’s it. I hope this is the last big wave,” says Dr. Pope.

France Press agency

In any case, the number of new cases of COVID-19 was still falling Wednesday in the US, raising hopes that the peak of the wave of the Omicron variant may be passed: the average number of new daily cases rises this week to about 700,000 , up from about 800,000 last week, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

France Press agency

But the US is still seeing about 1,700 deaths per day and a record number of hospitalizations from COVID-19, with nearly 160,000 patients occupying beds.

France Press agency

And like all caregivers who wrestle with Omicron, Dr. Pope has found that “there are enough people who get it that the small percentage of people who are really sick are beyond (capacity) our emergency rooms.”