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  • Anannya Das

My Parents are Doctors. The Threat of Coronavirus is Frighteningly Close to Home.

From looking at trending google searches, we can see the number one topic on everyone’s minds right now: COVID-19. This disease has ravaged the world, turning every person’s life upside down. We give many thanks to doctors who are risking their lives every day to stop this disease. I live with two doctors, and we are constantly afraid that they could become infected with this disease.

Talking to my parents, they are most fearful of the consequences of a lack of PPE, or personal protective equipment. It is sadly the truth these days that more and more healthcare providers are getting sick while trying to do their jobs and help others. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “PPE shortages are currently posing a tremendous challenge to the US healthcare system,” so hospitals are having to reuse their disposable masks, increasing the risk of contamination. My mother, at least, has tried to figure out ways she could improvise gowns and even masks. She thought about wearing long sleeved shirts to the hospital and then throwing them immediately into the washing machine when she came home, and then immediately taking a shower.

The masks, though, are still a problem. The N95 masks that doctors wear are weaved together so tightly that only air molecules can get out. Creating something that efficient out of items around the hospital or even the house is almost impossible. I find it appalling that people who are sacrificing their lives by being exposed to this disease are not given the proper attire and security to help others. Making healthcare providers stressed also makes them even more susceptible to the disease. This road that we are going down doesn’t seem to have any happy endings, so it is necessary that people and the government figure out a way to help healthcare workers, as they need it the most in the midst of a pandemic.