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Covid Corner with Dr. Gary Jacques

"Ya gotta love it" -Vanderbilt medical residents circa early 1980s (referring to the field of Medicine) Stats: At the end of Sunday, New Mexico, has 1845 cumulative cases of Covid-19. The death total has climbed to 55 and 103, patients are in the hospital. Los Alamos still has 6 reported cases although starting this week there will be regular testing in the county and we might pick up some more. Commentary: Many parts of the US and other countries have reached a peak in new cases and are starting to see that number trend downwards. New Mexico will probably peak this week. The national discussion is now turning to a debate around the particulars of how to "open the country back up" again by relaxing some travel and economic restrictions. Most medical organizations feel the need to keep social distancing in place for some time to come. Since we in New Mexico are only now experiencing a peak in cases, this is no time to prematurely relax. Doctors and nurses on the front line appreciate first-hand how scary this illness can be and their respective societies have good commentary on what criteria need to be in place safely relax current guidelines. Encouragement: Medical residency training "back in the day" was a brutal affair with 100+ hour workweeks being the norm (before national laws changed all that.) The quote above-sometimes sardonic, sometimes sincere- became our motto at Vanderbilt and reflected our understanding that the only way to get through those grueling times was to absolutely love what we do. Today, during this pandemic we see medical professionals demonstrating a different form of love. Not just a love of medicine as an art and a science, but a love of humanity. Today's comments are a tribute to the medical professionals who fight through their own fears to deliver care to those in need. Many of us have friends or family on the front lines in New York, LA or many of the other big cities that have been the epicenter of this outbreak. We keep them in our thoughts and prayers. Some of us even have friends who left the relative safety of their home towns to travel to these epicenters to serve during their time of crisis. How inspiring! All medical providers everywhere know that people can be asymptomatic carriers of the corona virus and as such, any close exposure at all during this time conveys a risk. So, while we may not be on the "front lines", we here at MANNM are in the fight too. I hope the medical profession gains an added degree of respect that lasts well beyond these covid-19 times. People have always respected the hard work and dedication of our profession. Now they see love and courage on display as well. Have a great day. Dr. Jacques

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