|March 12, 2021
The Year a Global Pandemic Changed Our Lives; Thank You Maine Physicians
It has now been a full year since Maine’s physicians and other frontline health care workers have risked their health, their safety, and their lives to treat their patients and defeat a deadly virus.
Nearly 47,000 Mainers have contracted SARS-CoV-2 since March 2020; almost equal to the entire populations of Bangor and Waterville combined.
Sadly, 724 Mainers have died with COVID-19 since the pandemic began; equal to two full Boeing 747 commercial airliners.
Many see a light at the end of the tunnel through ongoing immunization efforts toward herd immunity. You will now be asked to not only address vaccine hesitancy, but vaccine complacency as well. It is important to clearly message that vaccination can be the ticket back to pre-pandemic life.
Eventually, COVID-19 will be brought under control, but the impacts will remain. The issues of institutional and governmental interference in the physician-patient relationship will continue. Due to COVID-19, patients have skipped other scheduled immunizations and regular appointments for care of chronic conditions such as diabetes. The post-pandemic surge will be an unseen stress on the health care system for years.
Many people who otherwise sought routine care, cancer screenings or care for chronic conditions stayed home. While it is hard to say exactly how much health care was missed or delayed, the initial assessment does not look good. The question for the medical community is, what will be the health cost of that missing months of care? Although telehealth visits offered and alternative way to care and communicate with patients, it is not a full substitute for necessary face-to-face visits.
Maine’s physicians and staff have sacrificed their own safety, and that of their families, while treating and saving patients the pandemic for over a year. Although words could never express the gratitude for all you do and continue to do for our state, you are each truly amazing and compassionate human beings. We admire you all for your commitment to all the patients and families you touch every day.
Thank you. We are always here to proudly support you and your efforts to keep your patients healthy.
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